Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Peter Melvin Thompson Jr.

 

January 31, 2019

Peter Melvin Thompson Jr.

June 21, 1942 - January 30, 2019

Peter Melvin Thompson Jr, 76, of Rice Lake, MN died on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 at his residence surrounded by his family.

Funeral services will be held on, Saturday, February 2, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. at the Naytahwaush Sports Complex in Naytahwaush, MN. Visitation will start at 9:00 a.m. and continue until the services at the Sports Complex with Reverend Jacki Bernacchi and Pastor Tim Brown Officiating. Interment will take place in the spring at Samuel Memorial Episcopal Cemetery in Naytahwaush, MN. The Cease Family Funeral Home of Bagley assisted the family with arrangements. Military rites will be accorded by the Irvin Blix American Legion Post #16 of Bagley and the White Earth Honor Guard. In lieu of flowers the family requests memorials due to Evelyn's severe allergy to flowers.

Peter was born on June 21, 1942 at Clearwater County, MN the son of Peter Thompson Sr. and Katie (Durant) Thompson. He attended Bagley Schools until 8th grade when he dropped out to work and later received his GED. At the age of 17, he talked his dad into signing papers for him to enlist in the United Stated Army. Peter became a drill Sargent up until his first tour of duty in Vietnam, where he volunteered to go. He was wounded three times, receiving three Purple Heart medals. Shortly after finishing his first tour, he volunteered for his second tour in Vietnam, so his brother would not have to go to Vietnam. During his second tour, he again was wounded three more times and received three more Purple Heart Medals, totaling six Purple Heart Medals all together. Still working for the Army, Peter was a probation officer in Fort Carson in Colorado. He ended his military duties with a medical retirement serving our country a total of 12 years, earning 6 Purple Hearts, Silver Star with V for Valor, 3 Bronze with V for Valor, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, along with many other awards. He was Honorably Discharged in 1972. He met Evelyn Auginaush and they were married on July 10, 1973 at St. Phillips Church in Rice Lake, MN. They moved to Sandstone where he became a Federal Correction Officer. They moved to Minneapolis, MN where he attended Arden Hills and became a BCA certified Police Officer. They then moved to Red Wing, MN and worked as a Police Officer. After moving home, he became a trapper for the State and Tribe Predator Control. He also worked at the Leech Lake Indian Health Hospital Facilities as a manager, receiving two awards for his service. Peter was the founding father and was very instrumental in starting the White Earth Honor Guard which he still continued to do. Peter enjoyed hunting, trapping, attending sporting events, playing cards, visiting and spending time with his grandkids and great grandkids. Peter was known for his quick wit and his sense of humor, he was quite the jokester. In 1984, he went to Washington D.C. to dedicate the Vietnam War Memorial, representing the Irvin Blix American Legion Post #16 of Bagley. Peter received a War Bonnet at a PowPow in Newtown, North Dakota. He also received a book from a gentleman, who tracted him down, about Code Talkers. He was well known through Indian Country as one of the most decorated Native American Veterans. We lost a true warrior (ogitchidaag), who never asked any questions.

He is survived by his wife of 45 yrs. Evelyn (Auginaush) Thompson of Bagley, MN.

Daughters- Cheryl Thompson (Mike Troxell) of Bagley, MN.

Carol (Gary) Vik of Mahnomen, MN.

15 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren

Sisters- Josephine "Lou" Randberg of Mahnomen, MN and Joy "Dolly" (Paul) Hammond of Tucson, AZ.

Brother- Jack (Laura) Thompson of Minneapolis, MN.

Daughter-in-law- Brenda Neeland of Bagley, MN

Many nieces and nephews who loved their uncle.

He was preceded in death by his sons; Peter Thompson III and Henry Neeland; Parents Peter and Katie Thompson; In-laws Joseph and Gertie Auginaush; Sisters- Doris Goodwin, Kathy Anderson, and Dorothy Stevens; Brothers- Theodore "Chick" Thompson, and Edward Thompson.

 

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