Deward Dwain Thompson 64, of Durkee, OR, passed away unexpectedly, of a cardiac arrest, on April 19, 2022. A celebration of his life will be held Saturday, May 21, 2022, at 4:30 p.s.t., at the Durkee Community Center, 28716 Hwy 30, Durkee.
Deward was born in Cottonwood, Idaho to Dwain and Wilma Thompson. His parents moved a lot before they settled in New Plymouth, Idaho where he graduated high school in 1975 and attended TVCC. As a kid he showed steers in 4-H and helped work cattle with his family and friends.
Deward sold livestock supplies for a short period where he got over his shyness and developed his people skills meeting many ranchers around the area. After that he followed his passion for ranching working on different ranches before he settled down with his family working for Lee and Glenora Wright, (L3 Cattle Company) for many years. He was a stickler for good fences and had his own fencing business. Deward inherited his dad's talents running dozers, backhoes and other equipment. He was a man with a vision when it came to designing and building projects.
Deward married Connie Johnson at age 24 and was an instant dad to two little girls, Marti five and Mindi three, who he treated as his own immediately. Deward and Connie completed their family with Ashley and Amy. It wasn't unusual to see him with the girls working livestock, building fence, driving a pickup, or just making memories. They had a band of sheep and later up-graded their ewes to produce champion bucks and multiple grand champion 4-H market lambs.
In 1999, he married the love of his life, Kathryn Flack. They spent 23 wonderful years together working side-by-side living their dream on the 32 Ranch they had in Huntington and Durkee, Oregon. He enjoyed many of the fun filled adventures, building the cabin, fencing, hunting, gathering cattle and branding. Deward's fun, witty and caring personality surrounded him with a life time of wonderful people he truly treasured.
Deward was a very generous man, especially with his time, always ready to help a friend or neighbor. He was a member of the New Plymouth Rodeo Board as well as the New Plymouth Volunteer Fire Dept. He was a very active board member of the Burnt River RFPA helping prevent rangeland fires. He was the community “fixer” and always took time to help, find a part, or just to talk.
Deward is survived by his best friend and wife Kathryn. Sisters, Anita Carol (Gary) Cooper of Hermiston, OR and Tammy Jacobs of Payette, ID. Daughters Marti Hutchinson of Boise, ID, Mindi Madrid Thompson of Bernalillo, NM, Ashley Eckelberry of Fruitland, ID, Amy (Ben) Coburn of Durkee, OR. Grandchildren Justice, Gianna, Journee, Indiana, Ayden, Aleah, Bradly, Zach, Connor, Deton, Natalie, Harley, Breyden and Tilly.
Deward was preceded in death by his parents Dwain and Wilma Thompson, son-in-law Steve DeFrance and many treasured family, friends and dogs. Deward's dogs were especially important to him and he was rarely without one by his side.
For those who would like to make a memorial donation in memory of Deward, the family suggests either the Durkee Community Corp or Baker FFA Alumni through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home PO Box 543 Halfway, Oregon 97834. Online condolences may be shared at www.tamispinevalleyfuneralhome.com