Sterling E. Thompson, 92, of Austin, Minn., died Friday, Aug. 1, 2014, at Sacred Heart Care Center in Austin, Minn. A memorial service is at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 9, at Our Saviors Lutheran Church, with the Reverend Glenn L. Monson officiating. Interment is at Oakwood Cemetery. Visitation is at the church for one hour before the service Saturday morning. Clasen-Jordan Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.
Sterling Ellsworth Thompson was born May 28, 1922, in Lake Mills, the son of Albert and Agnes (Peterson) Thompson. He earned an AA from Waldorf College, a BA from Luther College and a MA from the University of Minnesota. He began his long teaching career in rural schools in Iowa, taught in the education department at Waldorf College, and spent one year teaching in the military school in Augsburg, Germany. He enjoyed a 30-year tenure in the Austin Public Schools, where he served primarily as teacher and for three years as principal. It was in Austin that he met Vila June Kiel, a fellow teacher and the love of his life. They were married June 28, 1958, and shared a rich 45 years together enjoying their vocation as educators; their volunteer commitments to Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, Luther College, Waldorf College, Retired Teachers Association, Sons of Norway and the Audubon Society; and their love of travel, canoeing, cross country skiing and the arts. Together they received the Distinguished Service Award from Luther College. Sterling received the Distinguished Service Award from Waldorf College. A lifelong learner, “Ster” will be remembered for the many things he taught us, whether in the classroom setting or in the laboratory called life.

His memory will live on with sister, Crystal; brothers-in-law, Ed and Linny; nieces and nephews, Bill, Marianne, Kevin, Scott and Sue; and other family and friends who loved him dearly.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Vi; his sister, Lois; brothers-in-law, Al and Howard; sisters-in-law, Marilyn and Elsie; and his niece, Cheryl; and nephew, Kurt.

In lieu of flowers, the family prefers memorials to the Sterling and VI Thompson Scholarship Fund at Luther College in Decorah or to Our Saviors Lutheran Church in Austin.