Official Obituary of

Von Jay Thompson

April 20, 1947 ~ March 8, 2024 (age 76) 76 Years Old

Von Thompson Obituary

He’s “On the Road Again.” Von Thompson passed away on Friday, March 8 at the age of 76.
He was born to Red and Thelma Thompson in Burley, Idaho, the youngest of 3 boys. Von’s
parents moved the family to Prineville in 1949, recruited by Cecil Sly to become teachers in the
local grade schools. Red was the principal at Ochoco Elementary, while Thelma taught 1st
grade at Crooked River Elementary. As many around town, including Von, could attest they
both knew how to handle a paddle.
Von, following in the footsteps of brothers Dale and George, was active in Boy Scouts and
sports from an early age. He attended the National Boy Scout Jamboree 50 th Anniversary on
his way to earning his Eagle Scout rank in 1962. He played football, basketball, and baseball
for Crook County and was voted captain or co-captain for each sport his senior year.
During his senior year at CCHS in 1965, Von was awarded a 6-year Work/College Scholarship
from US Bank. He alternated working at the bank and attending Oregon State University,
graduating in 1971. In 1969 he married his high-school sweetheart, Cathy Adams, and
welcomed two sons, Greg and Kevin over the next few years.
Von started his career at US Bank working in branches around the Portland area and spent
three years as Assistant Manager in Astoria. In 1977, he was promoted to manage the US
Bank branch back home in Prineville. In 1979, he joined Les Schwab as their credit manager to
expand that aspect of their business. Les bought him a solid car and told him to go visit every
store around the northwest. Thankfully, Willy Nelson recorded On the Road Again just in time to
become his theme song for that period. He retired from the company in 2002.
Over the years, Von found many ways to give to his community. He was an active member of
the Crooked River Roundup Board, both the Crook County and Central Oregon Economic
Development Councils, Rotary International, the Crook County Historical Society Board, the
Crook County Fair Board, the Prineville Golf Club and more. If the community needed to raise
money, Von was often involved. From the Booster Club in the late 70s, to overseeing the
evolution of parimutuel betting at the annual horse races, to the “Let’s Build it Committee” when
it came time for the new high school. He also served on the committee to renew the Pioneer
Memorial hospital levy, volunteered for the hospital foundation auction, chaired the transient tax
committee, and worked on the committee to fund the building of the new jail. He could be
counted on to bring his financial expertise, wisdom, and enthusiasm for Crook County to each
Von’s love for Oregon State athletics withstood some lean years and was first truly returned
back to him by the Beavs in 1999 with their Fiesta Bowl run. Whether they were winning
national championships or losing a heartbreaker, he was doing his part to root them on in every
sport he could watch or listen to on the radio.
Von truly loved his community. In addition to all the committees, he was an incredible advocate
for Crook County and the way of life here. He loved to share stories of its history, and the loss
of the mills took a toll on his soul. He noodled for years, trying to develop a way to get all the

city-folk to come take a drive with him up into the Ochocos to discuss proper forest
management. He just knew an afternoon with him would change their minds. It would have.
In his free time, Von enjoyed fishing, but mainly with triple teasers, especially the red ones. He
was an avid hunter and known far and wide for the incredible detail of the maps he’d draw for
the party in the dirt before each hunt. Thankfully, his maps always had us start at the top and
walk to the bottom. He loved to golf and sometimes could even beat Cathy. He was a
meticulous gardener like his father, and he loved being a Grandpa.
Von became an honorary second father or uncle to many, starting with the kids his boys would
bring home from school. From cheering all these kids on in their sports, to imparting the wisdom
only a father can provide, his influence has been felt for at least a couple of generations. This
continued even after Greg and Kevin left to start careers and families. Countless folks around
Prineville could always count on a smile, hug, and quick acceptance from Von. He leaves
behind his wife Cathy, his brother George (Jill), 2 sons, 6 grandchildren, one great grandson,
many nieces and nephews, cousins and many dear friends whom he counted as family. Von
and Cathy celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary on March 1st .
A service is scheduled for Friday, March 22 at 1:00 PM at the Prineville Funeral Home. A
reception at the Prineville Golf Club will immediately follow. In lieu of flowers, please consider a
donation to the Crook County Historical Society.

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