James Edward Thomson was born July 5, 1926, in Waukon, to Edward Thomson and Emma Sorlie Thomson, and died Jan. 17, 2017, at Aase Haugen Home in Decorah. A private graveside service will be held at a future date at Oakland Cemetery in Waukon.

James was united in marriage with Virginia Lee Peck at Garner June 10, 1951. They had three children: John Thomson, Jeanne James and Janice Thomson; and two grandchildren, Andrew James and Clementine Gilbert. James was educated in the Waukon public schools, graduating from Waukon High School in the class of 1943. He received a B.A. in education from Iowa State Teachers College, Cedar Falls, in 1949; attended graduate school at the University of Colorado and University of Iowa; and received a J.D. degree from the University of Iowa Law School in 1956. James was a veteran of World War II, having served in the U.S. Army Air Corps in the United States and in Germany. He taught history and driver training for four years in the Springville schools before entering law school. His legal career included an association with George Heins, Monona, in the general practice of law; eight years in Ames, as assistant attorney general, special counsel to the Iowa Highway Commission; and 26 years as an associate and/or partner in the law firm of Jacobson, Bristol, Thomson, Garrett and Swartz, specializing in trial work. James was a member of First Presbyterian Church, Waukon, for many years, serving as an elder and on various special committees. He was active in Kiwanis, and held memberships in Masonic Lodge, Shrine, B.P.O.E., V.F.W. and American Legion at various periods of his life. He was an avid reader throughout his life, and served on the Waukon Library Board as president during the years involved in promoting and building the Robey Memorial Library. A lifelong interest in aviation led to his obtaining his pilot's license in 1986 and piloting his own plane. He served as a member of the Waukon Airport Commission for several years.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Virginia Thomson, in 2015.

Any charitable donations in his memory may be made to the Robey Memorial Library Foundation, 401 1st Ave NW, Waukon, IA 52172.
Fjelstul Funeral Home in Decorah is serving the family.
Online condolences may be made at fjelstul.com.