Cordella J. Thompson
Sunday evening, July 24, 2022, at 7:00 PM at the Bowman Lutheran Church there will be Happiness with Cordella with a Pie and Ice Cream Social to follow.
Monday July 25, 2022, at 8:30 AM there will be Breakfast with Cordella with caramel rolls, baked eggs and fresh berries.
At 10:00 AM there will be a Celebration for Cordella at the Bowman Lutheran Church followed with an 11:00 AM burial at the Bowman Cemetery.
A life-long resident of Thompson Farms (a 1906 homestead farm), Cordella J. Thompson experienced happiness through her family, educating, and entertaining that included baking and cooking. She completed her final entertainment engagement on Wednesday, July 20, 2022, in Bowman, ND. Cordella was the second oldest thing at Thompson Farms, outside of the cedar trees that were transplanted from the Badlands in the 1920s by her grandfather, Otto. She was born, raised, and resided at the farm her entire life (August 2, 1940-July 20, 2022) outside of a brief stay in Oregon.
Cordella attended Star School just two miles south of the farm for grades one through eight. She then boarded at the Ohm Funeral Home while attending Bowman High School where she graduated in 1958. She attended college at Eastern Montana College for nursing but discovered her passion was education. She completed her Standard Degree from Dickinson State Teachers College in 1960; later she completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Education at Dickinson.
Cordella married her life-long love and partner, Roger A. Thompson, on December 28, 1960. A short time after their departure to LaGrande, Oregon, they received a letter from her parents, Elmer and Marcella (Wick) Schade, asking the married couple to return to the family farm. The couple returned to the farm and worked side by side with Elmer and Marcella, until Elmer’s death in 1965. Cordella taught two years in Scranton Public School making $1,800 per year. She enjoyed assisting Roger on the farm with the cattle and crops throughout her life. Most importantly, she and Roger raised three sons: Mike, Scott, and Kevin.
After the boys were school age, she returned to education by starting her own private kindergarten in the Episcopal Church in Bowman. She had a class in the morning and another class in the afternoon. She then began working at Bowman Public School as a Title I specialist; she was eventually placed in the classroom where she taught grades four, two, and three during her 33-year career at Bowman. Cordella also served as a mentor and supervisor for student teachers during which she thoroughly enjoyed seeing new ways of learning introduced to the classroom. Throughout her years at Bowman, she impacted the lives and dreams of thousands of her students. She loved every student and challenged them to strive for the best of their abilities and to achieve their goals. Cordella loved to bring her students to the farm and to entertain them with new foods and her delicious homemade pies. Many times, after the students knew their math tables, they received the foot of their choice.
Cordella and Roger’s most valued treasures were family and friends. They held them close to their hearts, which can be demonstrated through Cordella’s open-door policy: the coffee pot on and always ready to serve a slice of pie, a cookie, or a baked good. Her hearty smile and great personality greeted her people from all walks of life from numerous states and international countries. One meal she served guests from 13 different countries and ethnic backgrounds requiring a diverse menu. She did this with ease and learned from every guest the importance of understanding their culture and background. Cordella loved her immediate and extended family and looked forward to the Peters Family Reunions, where more than 300 guests would arrive for a weekend of food, fun, and reminiscing. Anyone who entered her home was dished up hospitality along with homemade caramel rolls, cinnamon twists, buns, pies, and cookies – if not a gourmet meal. In the fall of 2021 she completed “Corky’s Cookbook” that shares more than 100 of her top recipes, some of which have won regional and national awards.
Cordella believed in building a better community by serving on various boards or committees that included the following: Bowman Lutheran Church, Sunset Home, District 39 Democrat Committee, Ace High 4-H, ND Agriculture in the Classroom, amongst others. She and Roger were honored as a 1983 Harvest Bowl Recipient for their conservation practices.
Cordella and Roger enjoyed 59 years of marriage prior to his passing in April 2020. Having enjoyed their love, compassion, and guidance are Mike and Erin Thompson, Emigrant, MT; Scott and Lisa Thompson, Hot Springs, SD; Kevin Thompson, Bowman; their grandchildren: Rankin, LaRue (Matt), Truman (Jasmine), Gus (Adeline), Henry, Brooke (Logan) Wier, Bree and Brynn Thompson; sister-in-law, Rita Thompson, Buffalo, SD; life-long friends: Jon and Bonnie Largis, Helena, MT, Lois Smutzler, Dickinson, ND; and numerous nephews, nieces, and cousins along with neighbors and friends from around the globe.
Welcoming her to heaven include her husband, Roger; her parents, Elmer and Marcella Schade; sister, Dorothy (Dick) Johnson; sister-in-law, Georgene (Bill) Sarsland; brother-in-laws: Paul (Stella) Thompson, Don (Farrol) Thompson, Bob (Charlotte) Thompson, Dave (Letty) Thompson, Dennis Thompson; in-laws, Andrew and Amanda (Peters) Thompson; special life-long friends, Kenneth and Eleanor Largis; and many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins.
Published by The Bismarck Tribune on Jul. 25, 2022.