Victor John Thompson, M.D., beloved and admired father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, physician and friend peacefully left his life of adventure on March 16, 2010 in Sacramento, California. He was 91 years “young”, and will be missed and remembered fondly by all who knew him.
Vic (or “Doc” as most people knew him) was born to Hugh and Mary Thompson on October 5, 1918 in Grandview, Washington. As a child he moved to Long Beach, California where he nurtured his passion for the outdoors, learned to surf and worked as a lifeguard. He attended UC Berkeley, lettering in crew and majoring in bacteriology, and graduated in 1940. He joined the Air Force, trained in photoreconnaissance and was stationed in India during WWII. He was transferred to the Pentagon where he earned the rank of Major. There, he met and married Patricia Koerner. After the war, he and Pat moved back to California where he attended medical school at USC. Once he received his degree he spent an internship year at LA County Hospital and then a residency in family practice in Santa Cruz. While there, he learned about the town of Weed and its need for another doctor. In 1952 Vic, Pat and daughter Mimi moved to Weed. Vic immediately fell in love with the people as well as the beauty of the area and all the recreation possibilities it provided.
Vic’s practice grew, as did his family with the birth of daughters Kathy and Vicki. The Weed Clinic was built in 1964 and “Doc” practiced there as well as at the Mt. Shasta Hospital and the Weed Convalescent Hospital.
Vic loved medicine and became a widely respected fixture in the South Siskiyou County medical community for nearly five decades. But Vic’s life was more than practicing medicine. An avid fisherman, hunter, skier, cowboy and rancher, he enthusiastically embraced the outdoors and all it offered. He was a multi-faceted, larger than life man who enjoyed people and all life had to offer. He enjoyed lapidary work and electronics, music, reading and tried his hand at writing poetry. He was in many ways a teacher and never lost his love of learning and respect for education. He married Faith Roloff in 1981, and they added a love of traveling to the long list of hobbies and interests.
Vic was part of the group who worked to bring the College of the Siskiyous to Weed and was the Eagles’ team doctor for many years. He enjoyed active membership in the Lions Club, Elk’s Club and the Sons of Italy Club.
Vic leaves a large and loving family. He is survived by his daughters Mimi (and Sam) Williams, Kathy (and Don) Fitzgerald, and Vicki (and Kelly) Conner; his grandchildren Kris (and Gretchen) Williams and great-grandchildren Elsa and Sam, Kacy (and Lesley) Williams and great-grandson Zachary, Patrick and Maggie Fitzgerald and Ryan and Jonny Conner. He also leaves Faith’s four daughters, Debbie (and Chuck) Browning and their daughter Kari; Janet (and Rod) Turner, granddaughter Janae (and Jim) Galovich and great grandchildren Lauren Faith and Austin; Lisa Groom and grandsons Robin and Aaron (and Chandi) and great-granddaughter Taylor; and Kellie (and Luis) Bernardez and grandson Harrison True.
He is also survived by sisters Miriam Secker of Holland, Michigan and Jean Colaluca of Torrance, California, as well as many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Vic had a passion for life and lived it to the fullest, touching many lives in Siskiyou County. Stories and memories of Vic, both colorful and heartwarming, abound. There will be a memorial celebration of his life on Saturday, May 29, 2010 at the Sons of Italy Hall in Weed from 1 - 3 pm.
Donations in his memory may be made to the Victor J. Thompson, M.D. Memorial Scholarship Fund at the College of the Siskiyous in Weed or charity of choice.