PROVO, UT – Robert H. Thompson, 81, of Provo, Utah, formerly of Malta and Burley, was surrounded by his loving family in Provo, Utah, when he passed away peacefully February 24, 2013, after a valiant fight with cancer.
Robert (Bob) was born to Bishop J. Henry Thompson and Lora Harmon Thompson, on March 18, 1931, in Malta, Idaho. Bob grew up the sixth of seven children and enjoyed singing with his family. He drove a red Farmall “A” tractor on the family farm, earned his Eagle Scout, and played on the Raft River High School basketball team. After high school he attended Brigham Young University (BYU) where he sang with the Air Force ROTC Chorus.
He was then drafted into the Army, U.S. Infantry where he served as a Weapons Instructor and acting Drill Sergeant, earning an Expert Rifle Marksmanship Badge and a Good Conduct Medal. Bob loved to sing and was blessed with opportunities to share his talents. Following his military service, he served a 30-month mission to West Germany, where he performed as a soloist with the Salt Lake Mormonaires, who put on concerts in the major music halls of Germany. He also developed many endearing friendships with those he served and he came to love the German language.
After his mission, he returned to BYU, where he soloed and toured with the Delta Phi Chorus. Christmas shows with his sister, Janie Thompson and the BYU Program Bureau became the highlight of all the members of the Thompson family. The group performed in the Orient and did nationwide tours including shows in Disneyland. In 1960, Bob graduated from BYU with a Bachelor Degree in German and Music.
On Aug. 1960, Bob married Sara Beth Keller of Preston, Idaho in the Idaho Falls Temple. They met while they were both serving missions in Heidelberg, German. There is a song that speaks of losing one’s heart on Heidelberg, but Bob realized he lost his heart in Heidelberg.
In 1963, Bob graduated from BYU with a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration and German. He also traveled with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on two nationwide tours, with performances in the White House and the New York World Fair.
Bob and Beth raised their family of six daughters and one son in Burley, Idaho, where Bob taught German and English at Burley High School and Burley Jr. High School. Bob taught his daughters and son to sing and they enjoyed singing together as a family at church functions, weddings, funerals, nursing homes, Christmas dinners, the Festival of trees and caroling. Bob and Beth served two full-time missions together. The first in Houston, Texas under F. Enziio Busche; and the second to the Genealogy Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Bob loved his family and always said the highlight of his life was marrying the most beautiful girl in the world, and raising six daughters and a son. He instilled in his family a love of the Savior and the devoted hours of service he rendered are a witness of his strong testimony of the truthfulness of the Gospel and his love of the Savior.
His family will forever treasure in their hearts his stalwart example and we gratefully thank him for sharing his testimony with us through his actions, songs and words. His example will forever be in our hearts.
The family wishes to thank the many caregivers who extended excellent services to Bob. They also wish to thank all those near and dear to him that have extended their love and shown so many kindnesses.
He is survived by his sister Janie Thompson; his brother Samuel Oliver Thompson; his six daughters, Lora Thompson, Tamina Kevin Allred, Becky Richardson, Teresa (Tad) Smallcomb, Linda Hosteen, and Sherry (Chris) Diener; and his son Robert Keller (Kristi) Thompson; 27 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his beloved eternal sweetheart, Beth; two sisters, Dorothy Thompson Collier and Carolyn Thompson Lee; two brothers, John Harmon Thompson and Joseph Edward Thompson; and his son-in-law, Walter Hosteen.
A viewing will be held Friday evening, March 8, 2013, from 6-8 p.m. at Walker Sanderson Tribute Center, 85 East 300 South, Provo, Utah. The funeral service will be held Saturday, March 9, 2013, at 12 p.m. (noon) at the Lakeside 3rd/6th Ward building, 2400 West 50 North, Provo, with a viewing that morning from 10:30 to 11:45 a.m. Interment will be at the Orem City Cemetery with military rites. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.walkersanderson.com.