Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

Steven Richard Thompson

Steven Richard Thompson, 71, of Pine Bluffs, WY passed away peacefully on January 4th, 2024, in a Denver, Colorado hospital.

Steve was born to Richard Thompson and Melvia Stouffer on April 28th, 1952 in Vinton, Iowa. Steve grew up in Western Nebraska and Southeast Wyoming.  His sophomore year in high school, he moved to Pine Bluffs and was raised by his grandparents, Dallas and Bernice Wood. They were very supportive of his love for football, basketball and track, which he excelled in. He had great love for his grandparents. After graduating high school in 1970, he married Debra Kunau, and they had 3 children together, Todd, Tracy and Jeremy.

After high school, he attended Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Montana on a football scholarship. They eventually moved back to Pine Bluffs to get into the cattle business.  After a few years of that, he decided to purchase the Pines Body Shop from Bub Gieber, someone who Steve worked for periodically.  He learned a lot from Bub and considered him a mentor and great friend.  He owned and operated the body shop for over 20 years.  Because of his strong work ethic and attention to detail, he became a phenomenal body man and painter and built a very reputable and respected business. The body shop was also a popular social hang out for many of Steve's friends and patrons.  People would stop by the shop with a 12-pack of Miller Lite in hand and sit for hours shooting the bull with him. Steve sold his business and after a brief vacation went to work in Kimball, Nebraska for Wolf Automotive. There he continued his work in auto body repair as a shop manager and painter for another 20 plus years.

During the final years of his life he found his calling by being a farmer and working for Ivan Kranz.  He loved the peace and quiet of farming and being in touch with the land as well as the Kranz family and entire crew at the farm.  Steve and his trusty black lab Buddy were a common site around the shop or in the tractor. He often told his kids and Ivan that if he knew how much he loved farming, he would have quit the body business 20 years earlier.

Steve was a relentless outdoorsman. He loved hunting for elk, deer and antelope, along with fishing – especially walleye. He spent countless hours working on his boat, reading and learning how to be a better fisherman and hunter. His love for the outdoors is something he shared and passed down to his kids, and grandchildren as well.  Those memories will be cherished forever. Steve's adventures and success were well known.  Although a man of few words, he was a great storyteller. Get him talking about fishing or hunting and he could stretch any brief event into a story that would take several hours. Steve also had a love for gardening, carrying on the traditions he learned from his grandmother Bernice Wood.  His garden was amazing and he took pride in his crops and was always sharing what he grew.

Steve loved his brothers and sisters.  He and Deb helped raise his two brothers while they were in high school.  He spent a lot of time with his brother Ed who shared a lot of the same interests in life.  Steve also took a lot of pride in his kids and grandkids, and loved them very much. Evidence of his love is  scattered all over his house and cell phones in pictures, letters and cards he received from them over the years. Steve had a sense of humor, which he showed even in his last days at the hospital. Making the nurses laugh with his witty comments.  It was a blessing for much of his family to get the opportunity to see this, and show and express their love to him in those final days.  He will be greatly missed, but they have comfort in knowing he is pain free and on the greatest hunting and fishing trip of his life.

Steve is survived by his children Todd Thompson (Michelle) of Pine Bluffs, WY, Tracy Hokanson (William) of St. George, UT, and Jeremy Thompson of Laramie, WY.   Steve also leaves behind his beloved dog, Buddy, who he loved dearly. Steve leaves behind his siblings, Ed Thompson (Zelma) and Larry Thompson of Cheyenne WY, Sue Mordhorst (Bob) of Cheyenne, WY, Jo Schultz of Somerset, TX, Greg Thompson (Rain) of Brighton, CO, Allen Stouffer of Loveland, CO and John Stouffer of Cheyenne, WY. Steve also leaves behind 12 grandchildren Jordan, Logan, Rylie, Macie, Hunter, Paige, Reed, Kenzie, Kendra, Alex, Alaska, Boone and one precious great grandchild, Drezden.  Steve also leaves behind his beloved Aunt Alice of Iowa along with his many cousins, nieces, and nephews.

Steve is preceded in death by his mother, Melvia Stouffer, father, Richard Thompson and his grandparents Bernice and Dallas Wood.

In lieu of flowers, Steve would love it if you made a generous donation to the Wyoming Game and Fish and their take a kid fishing program. 

There will be a celebration of life happening on Saturday, January 20th from 5-8 PM at the Pine Bluffs Community Center.  Anyone who loved Steve is invited to come drink a beer and tell stories that Steve would love.

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