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Memorials: Bellingham Friends Meeting

Larry Thompson

Date of birth

June 20, 1947

Date of death

Oct. 24, 2022


Bellingham Friends Meeting

Memorial minute

Bellingham Friends Meeting is grieving the loss of Larry Thompson, a much-loved, active, and caring member of our community. 

Larry Alan Thompson was born on June 20, 1947, to parents Gerald and Arleen Thompson in Ft. Sill, Oklahoma. He was living courageously with a recent diagnosis of ALS when an infection abruptly ended his life in May 2022.

Larry grew up in the Lutheran church, where he absorbed the values of honesty and integrity. Over a decade ago, he began to attend Bellingham Friends Meeting, and was soon engaged in the life of the Meeting through regular attendance at worship and participation in Finance Committee. In 2015, he became a member, and over a period of years served the Meeting in a number of roles, including as clerk of Ministry and Counsel committee, clerk of Finance Committee, and, at the time of his death, clerk of Meetinghouse Committee.

Friends appreciated his thoughtful vocal ministry.  He initiated and led a Spirit Group that met monthly in his home to discuss selected Quaker writings.  He led an ad hoc committee that examined the financial feasibility of purchasing a building for a Meetinghouse. He was also instrumental in evaluating the rental of the Majestic building, where we have begun meeting in person and virtually.  His memorial there during our regular worship time June 12, 2022, marked our first large gathering held in that space, an appropriate tribute to his legacy.

Larry pursued an almost fifty-year career in the health industry, working abroad, in DC, and eventually in Washington state, with notable stops including ten years with Group Health Cooperative and six years as the CEO of Skagit Valley Medical Center, before concluding his career with five years as a private consultant.

Larry loved to travel around the world, to watch sports on TV, and was a voracious reader—newspapers, biographies, American and world history, poetry, and political analysis. Larry found spiritual solace in nature throughout his life. Camping trips and backpacking excursions were opportunities for reflection and for family bonding.  

Larry’s strong and understanding presence lives on in the minds and hearts of Bellingham Friends and his surviving family: son Loren Thompson and his wife Lauren, daughter Ashley Thompson; grandchildren Emory, Faye, and Svea Thompson; and loving life partners Joanne Cowan, who is a member of Bellingham Friends Meeting, and Leanne Truong, a longtime attender.