Photography

Ronald Ernest Thompson

1956 ~ 2022 (age 65)

Obituary

Obituary for Ronald Ernest Thompson 1956 – 2022

On Monday, April 4, 2022, Ronald Ernest Thompson, loving husband, and father of two sons, passed away from cardiac arrest at the age of 65.

Ron was born in 1956, in Zweibrucken, Germany while his family was stationed there at the Royal Canadian Air Force base. Because of being born into a military family, Ron lived and schooled in several different provinces across Canada (ON, SK, AB, BC) but ultimately settled into living the bulk of his adult life in and around Salmon Arm and Nanaimo, British Columbia. 

Ron was known to be quite the athlete and a lover of all sports (hockey, baseball, football, soccer, racket ball, badminton, golfing) during his childhood and well into his 40’s. He won many awards throughout his life; his first award was ‘Best Overall Athlete’ when he was only 14 and then went on as an adult to win Junior Champ award in Badminton and Long Ball Golf Champion in Alberta.  

Ron graduated from M.E. LaZerte High School in Edmonton, AB in 1974 and later went on to receive his Welding Diploma in June of 1978 from Cariboo College in Kamloops, BC and worked for Neuens in Salmon Arm doing welding. He also worked as a ranch hand, got his class 1, and drove semi-trucks, he also did framing/carpentry work, he went on to learn cement finishing work, and even helped build the Revelstoke Dam! Ron always loved to work and enjoyed learning new skills.

One of the jobs Ron worked at in his twenties was as a bouncer in Edmonton with his best buddies, Bill, Ken, Dick, Doug, and Spicer and they shared many stories of parties, girlfriends, practical jokes, and pranks during those years back in the late 70’s & early 80’s.  He managed to get the nickname, the ‘therapist’ because he would be the bouncer that many young women would seek out for ‘boyfriend advice’ in many of the bars that he bounced in.

During Ron’s lifetime he was married three times and divorced twice. His first wife Shironnie, he married in the early 80’s and had two sons with her, Ryan, and Brady. His second wife Teressa, he married in the early 90’s and he became a stepfather to her 3 children, Brent, Bradley, and Amy. And his 3rd and last wife Tracy, he met in 2007 and started a life together then later married in September of 2011.  Ron really loved family life and was a very devoted father to his sons Ryan and Brady, a loving and devoted son to his parents Eva & Lloyd, a supportive brother to Donald, and an incredibly loving husband to his wife Tracy.  

Ron was always a positive highly motivated and hardworking man who loved new opportunities and truly had an entrepreneurial spirit. Ron’s father Lloyd, after retiring from the RCAF opened a small business for himself as a goldsmith along with Ron’s older brother Donald, and they encouraged Ron to join the family business ‘Thompson Goldsmiths’ in Salmon Arm and so Ron learned yet another skill and that was as a Goldsmith.

Eventually Thompson Goldsmiths became a very busy and successful small business that employed at it’s peak three journeymen Goldsmiths (Ron, Don & Carl), and three apprentices (Dennis, Petra & Kristine) all creating custom jewelry design work and repairs. At times there were up to three full time women working out front doing jewelry sales alongside Ron and Don. Ron had a real easy going way about him just like his father, Llyod and he was known to always have a joke or a funny story to tell amongst the staff. Every Friday morning Ron would go down the street to ‘Wee Willie’s Bakery’ to buy baked goods to share with the staff for their weekly staff meeting. He was very much admired by the staff and was an easygoing boss to work for.

Ron was an amazing salesman, and the ladies loved to have him come show them jewelry, especially the elderly ladies; he made them feel as if they were movie stars and 40 years younger, and the people who came to buy always left happy.

Every year Ron and his brother Don had a huge New Year’s Eve event where they gave away a 1 carat Diamond to the winner of a draw. The entire store from about 10:00pm onward were packed with people until midnight when the draw took place. Because you had to be present when your name was drawn to win the diamond, there would often be large groups of people outside on the sidewalk and filling the parking lot across the street anxiously waiting to hear the winner’s name being drawn.

Other business ventures that Ron and Don later tried were establishing Waterways houseboats introducing houseboating into the Salmon Arm Bay while continuing to run the jewelry store. Ron and Don also expanded the jewelry store to include doing custom cast Pewter miners on geodes that they sold during Expo 1986 in Vancouver and selling to several gift stores throughout Canada.

Ron’s life really changed however, when he began to have a series of different health challenges thrown at him which were rooted in part due to his being a Type 1 Diabetic since his early 20’s. The first health challenge came in 2004 with the loss of his eyesight due to retinopathy in his right eye and partial loss in his left eye as well, causing him to be declared as legally blind. Of course, his work as a goldsmith had to stop and Ron was at a loss as to what he could do to support his family at the time. He eventually lost his business as well as his 2nd marriage to Teressa.

Then to compound his troubles, he accidentally stepped on a nail that went through his right foot which caused a severe infection that ultimately turned into an amputation of his foot and then eventually his leg above his knee was also amputated due to infections not healing and by contracting MRSA in the hospital in Salmon Arm he was then transported to Kamloops hospital for 9 months. Because of the amount of strong antibacterial drugs (Vancomycin) in his system from such a long stay in the hospital, Ron’s kidneys were failing and was near dying. Luckily his brother Don donated his kidney that was a near 100% blood/DNA match and in March of 2006 Ron had a kidney transplant done which saved his life.

Ron moved in with his widowed mother Eva in Nanaimo in 2005 and she helped him to heal and rehabilitate as he learned how to walk and live again with an above knee prosthesis. Due to being legally blind and an amputee his road to recovery was especially difficult. And to add to his troubles he now was a kidney transplant recipient as well as type 1 diabetic.

Even with all these health challenges, Ron continued to be his highly motivated, positive, forward-thinking self. He only looked ahead and not backwards and began his search for a type of employment that even with all his challenges was something that he could still do and support himself financially. It was through the help of CNIB that he was able to pay for a course with Dave Large, a Certified Hypnotherapist from Vancouver Island Hypnotherapy in Nanaimo in 2007.  The CNIB and Assistive Technologies were also instrumental in helping him to acquire his first reader and a computer to help with his reading and study that he needed to get him started in his new career as a hypnotherapist.

Ron also never gave up on having another relationship as well in his life. He went online and found as if by accident, Tracy, who later became his 3rd wife and his business partner in their hypnotherapy business, known as Nanaimo Hypnotherapy Center.  Tracy also was recently divorced and married twice before but never found love like the love she found with Ron. The love they shared over the next 14 years was truly unconditional and deeper than any they had ever experienced before.

The road they shared together was a difficult one, due to Ron’s many health challenges but they found a way to make things work out. Ron lost his other leg by amputation in 2018 which was a below-knee amputation, and he lost his voice for 3 months from a stroke, but he worked hard to get it back and then he also had colon cancer and surgery for that as well. Each time he worked hard to rehabilitate himself back.

Ron was and is a profound inspiration to any who have ever had the pleasure to meet him and is a shining example of a man who loved to live life.  Ron will forever be remembered and missed by his wife Tracy, his family, and close friends, and all of his clients that were released from their emotional pain through Ron’s skillful work as a hypnotherapist.

Ron was predeceased by his father, Lloyd Thompson (2002), and mother, Eva Thompson (2016). Ron is survived by his wife and hypnotherapy business partner, Tracy L. Thompson (14 years together); his sons Ryan Thompson (Pitbull Coco) and Brady Thompson; his older brother Donald Thompson (ex-wife’s Brenda & Suzanne), nephews, and nieces; Christopher Thompson (Zoe, Lily, Alex), Sean Thompson (Kelly, Lucas, Emma), David Thompson (River), Aunt Dora Sawatsky, cousins; Hal Sawatsky (Janet), Kelly McLean (Greg), Ley Thompson (Anne McLeod), Joanne Thompson.

Special mention goes to: James Little from Vancouver Island Prosthetics, all the Physiotherapists and nurses that helped Ron at Nanaimo Regional Hospital Rehab ward, Dr. Miguel Pereira, Dr. Carson from Nanaimo Transplant Clinic, Dr. Yearsley, Dr. Guzdner, Dr. Schinerite, Occupational Therapists, Brenda McAlpine and Ashlea, and Nick from Advanced Mobility.

All who knew and loved Ron are welcome to attend a “Celebration of Life & Memorial Service” that will be held on Saturday, April 23, 2022, from 1:00pm – 4:00pm, at Royal Canadian Legion, 1630 East Wellington Rd, Nanaimo, BC, V9S 5P8.  In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the War Amps, Kiwanis Club, Canadian Diabetes Association, Kidney Transplant Foundation, Canadian National Institute for the Blind, and the Nanaimo Regional Hospital Foundation.

 

 

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