David Emil Thompson, age 63, passed away peacefully at Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz, California on March 16, 2017. Complications from his struggle with diabetes, coronary artery disease, pneumonia and end stage renal disease contributed to his death.
Dave was known for his laughter, sarcasm and laid back nature. He had the ability to strike up a conversation and become instant friends with anyone that he met. His love for romantic comedies and Lifetime movies proved to be a staple of his life, but his true passion was rooted in his love of fine cuisine, ranging from deep fried pizzas, taco salad topped with Fritos and smothered in Dorothy Lynch’s, giant bowls of buttery popcorn, and the classic … PB pickle sandwiches. Born on July 29, 1953 in Iola, Wisconsin to Tom and Alice (Hansen) Thompson, David grew up in Waupaca enjoying small town life with his siblings, Allan, Corinne (Friis) and Valerie (Trisler). Both sets of grandparents and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins all lived close by when David was young which made holidays and other family get togethers epic in both size and hilarity. The summers of his teenage years were spent working at Ding’s Dock. David would later move to Minnesota to attend Bethany College and start his own family. Years later, after living in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Kentucky, and California, David would return to Minnesota to spend his late forties and fifties working, connecting with old friends, and living closer to his Wisconsin family. He would sometimes come back to Waupaca (for dog sitting duties at Val’s house) which gave him the opportunity to reconnect with old high school friends and see other family members. In 2012, David’s daughter Kelley would convince him to come to Santa Cruz, California to meet his first granddaughter, Cambria Riley and help out with childcare for a few weeks. At only two months old, Cambria already had him wrapped around her finger … and Grampy never went home! As Cambria grew up, she lovingly referred to Grandpa Dave as “Branka” (as close to “Grandpa” as she could get at a young age) and they became quite the duo – adventuring by bus, taxi or Uber all over Santa Cruz while Mom and Dad were at work. The two of them enjoyed “going to the pancake store” (any restaurant serving pancakes), traveling to Walgreens for prescriptions (and toys!) and watching endless hours of game shows and Disney Jr. While in California, Dave enjoyed his time with his kids and his granddaughter. He worked summers in food service at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, had the opportunity to attend his son Christopher’s wedding and enjoyed many holidays with his California Family.
After 63 very full years, David’s health finally began to fail. In the summer of 2016, he was put on dialysis for renal failure. For the eight months that David was on dialysis, he was grateful for the relief it brought to his body and the improved quality of life that resulted. In March 2017, he was admitted to the hospital with pneumonia and heart complications. A few days later, his body stopped responding to dialysis and his heart slowly gave out. He spent his final day in the hospital surrounded by family, and peacefully breathed his last breath the evening of March 16th.
David’s smile, laughter, and love for his family will be remembered fondly. We hope he’s happily scootering around heaven, cracking jokes, with a giant bucket of buttered popcorn at hand. A celebration of David’s life will be held in Santa Cruz, California on June 17th.