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Rebecca Thompson

May 21, 2020

Services are pending.


Boulger Funeral Home

Rebecca Thompson

May 21, 2020


“Becky” Thompson, age 86, passed away on May 21st, 2020 at BeeHive Homes in Moorhead, MN. She was born on February 24, 1934 to Edward and Judith (Agrimson) Swiggum who farmed near Peterson, MN. She graduated from St. Charles High School and completed her RN training at Lutheran Deaconess Hospital in Minneapolis. There she met Richard Thompson, a student at Luther Seminary in St. Paul. They married on August 31, 1957.
After Richard’s ordination, they would serve congregations in Dannebrog, NE, Sioux City, IA, Spencer, IA, Osage, IA, Sioux City a second time, and Santa Monica, CA. Along the way they welcomed three children, Dawn, Deborah, and David. A fourth child, Daryl, died shortly after birth. After nearly 30 years in parish ministry, Richard accepted a call to serve in the formation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) in its Commitment to Mission program. This work led them to a call in Des Moines, IA and eventually to Waverly, Iowa as an assistant to the bishop of NE Iowa. Through all of their moves, Becky was able to find work in her profession as a nurse, often working the night shift while caring for her family and making each place feel like home. In her own career as a nurse, she developed a reputation for being a compassionate and dedicated caregiver.
Always on the move, she became known for her rapid heel walking and her willingness to try new and adventurous things. There was a trip to the Holy Land, riding camels in Turkey, and a trip to Japan. After her husband died, she went on a hiking trip with her daughter Deborah in England. Well into her 70s, she parasailed in Mexico with her two daughters, and had her photo appear in a Northwoods newspaper for climbing a portable rock wall during a local festival.
Her children have wonderful memories of family camping trips, Swiggum reunions, fishing trips, baseball games, and Becky’s meal traditions around the holidays (especially jello salad creations and wonderful desserts).
In her later years, as she suffered from memory loss, she still enjoyed trips to the cabin, going out to eat, and going for rides on the Ferris wheel in Scheels. As her memory grew progressively worse, she still practiced her adventurous spirit by pulling off “the great escape” from one care unit, defiantly declaring upon her return, “I was naughty, but I had fun!”
Through all of her memory issues, her spirit shined. When visiting you could often see her nurse mode come through as she tended to other residents, cleaned up crumbs with a vengeance, and kept time to any music being played. We have been blessed for nine years by our angel caregiver, Jayne Myhro, who laughed, cried, and danced with Becky, and who held her gently for us to the end. We are also thankful for the staff at BeeHive Homes in Moorhead, who have also cared for Becky like extended family.
Becky was preceded in death by her husband Richard, son Daryl, and son-in-law Eric Paulsrud. She is survived by children Dawn (Larry) Papenfuss of Moorhead, Deborah Paulsrud of St. Paul, and David (Janet) Thompson of Denton, TX, and eight grandchildren.
Due to the pandemic, a memorial service will be held at a later date. Memorials can be directed to BeeHive Homes 1001 Caddy Ave, Moorhead, MN 56560 or the nonprofit of one’s choice.


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7 responses to “Rebecca Thompson”

  1. Laurie Washburne says:

    You were a wonderful, fun aunt to me, Aunt Becky! I have fond memories staying at your home in Iowa when I was young. I will always remember taking you, Doris and Mary Jane clothes shopping and wine tasting in California! You will be missed and never forgotten.
    All my love,

  2. Carolyn Thue says:

    I lost a very dear friend this week she and I have done many things together since she and Richard retired I think we were one of the first couples they met after coming to Moorhead. Don and Richard shared friendships as well. Wonderful times, I was one of the gals that went on the walking trip in England great time. Had some weekend sleep overs at the lake. We have continued our friendship all through These years Don was in the same Memory as Becky they continued to be friends they were born the same year but Don would call her grandma which was kinda cute. We seemed to be able to communicate even after she was unable to talk. I’d come to visit at the Beehive and she saw me looked a minute and tear would come to here eyes and she would Pat my cheeks and say ya ya and then laugh. The last visit was just before they. Closed visitors except family. I will miss her allot but she is free now of this disease. God bless all our your families Dawn , Deb, and David. I am so glad I could be a friend to till the end.

  3. Penny Rodney says:

    What a wonderful life she had. Now she is home and blessed your family with some great memories to share. God bless you all as you proceed to celebrate her life.

  4. Steven Paulsrud says:

    I’ll always remember “Mrs Thompson” as my second mother. Always listening and attentive, never judging, and always with that huge wonderful smile!! My thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends. Much love, Steve Paulsrud

  5. Sharon Braun says:

    I remember your wedding Aunt Becky. It must have been in the summer because that is when my family always visited Minnesota. Mostly I remember your glowing face and how happy you were. Your dress was full and beautiful as you were. I also remember my folks talking when you had your first baby and you had named her Dawn. I think they were a little puzzled by the name Dawn, because they kept spelling it and explaining its meaning.
    You were always so kind and loving and you smiled. Having 10 aunts and uncles and no cousins yet was a little intimidating but you were so sweet. Also I remember you and Gloria listening to “fast” music and Grandma complaining. You were so fun, thank you for your love.

  6. Donna and Dan Swiggum says:

    This was a beautiful video in memory of our beloved sister, Becky.
    Dan and Donna

  7. Carol Anderson says:

    This is a great collection of memories and a wonderful tribute about Aunt Becky. There was always laughter, smiles and fun surrounding her! The video is a very special blessing to watch and gift to us all. Thank you!

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