Ernie Thompson, 86, of Decorah, died Friday, Feb. 7, 2014, at the Aase Haugen Nursing Home in Decorah. Services were at 2 p.m. Monday, Feb. 10, at First Lutheran Church in Decorah, with Rev. Melissa Bills officiating. Organist was Marcia Engebretson. Soloist was Paul Casterton ("Lord's Prayer"). Hymns were "Here I Am, Lord" and "Beautiful Savior." Interment is at Phelps Cemetery in the spring. Arrangements were handled by Schluter - Balik Funeral Home in Decorah. Honorary casketbearers were all of Ernie's grandchildren. Casketbearers were Darrin Walter, Dan Walter, Nicholas Thompson, Willie Thompson, Scott Thompson, Justin Starkey, Dennis Wilhelm and Dale Wilhelm.

Ernest Bernard Thompson was born Sept. 15, 1927, the son of Benjamin and Amanda (Albertson) Thompson in Ridgeway. Ernie was baptized Oct. 9, 1927, and confirmed on June 7, 1942, at the Ridgeway Lutheran Church. Ernie attended country school. He was united in marriage to Lois Woolridge June 5, 1949, at the Little Brown Church in Nashua. Ernie farmed near Ridgeway, worked at Bolson Feeds, Deco Products, Luther College and as the caretaker of the Phelps Cemetery for many years. He loved being outside at the cemetery, mowing and trimming everything to perfection. Ernie enjoyed woodworking, horses, visiting with people, his family and grandchildren and going places with Lois, especially to the Family Table Restaurant. Ernie has spent the last two and a half years at Aase Haugen Nursing Home and will always remembered for his big smile and wanting a cookie from visitors. Ernie was a member of the First Lutheran Church in Decorah.

Ernie is survived by his wife, Lois Thompson, Decorah; four children: Wanda (Erlin) Walter, Decorah; Daryl (Nolan Moyer) Thompson, Tampa, Fla.; Dean (Sue) Thompson, Mabel, Minn.; and Jeff (Denise) Thompson, Dubuque; grandchildren: Darrin Walter, Dan (Mollie) Walter, Tina (Bruce) Michels, Tonya (Adam) Tollefsrud, Michele (Justin) Birdsell, Erica (Mitch) Hanson, Nicholas (Abbie) Thompson, Willie (Regina) Thompson, Melissa (Chad) Driscoll, Hannah Kafar, Mike Farrell, Tony Farrell, Sandy Farrell, Paul Farrell, Will Farrell; and 33 great grandchildren; two sisters, Jeanette Wilhem, Mesa, Ariz. and Beverly Starkey, Waterloo; two sisters-in-law, Phyllis Thompson, Decorah and Margaret "Cookie" Thompson, Calmar; along with many nieces and nephews.

Ernie was preceded in death by his parents, Benjamin and Amanda (Albertson) Thompson; one grandson, Mickey Thompson, July 29, 2000; three brothers: Stanley Thompson, Melvin Thompson and Einer Thompson; one sister, Alice Thompson; one brother-in-law, Melvin Wilhelm; his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Louis and Myrtle Woolridge.