Dotty Jean Thompson died on Nov. 12, 2020, at Cody Regional Health Long Term Care in Cody. She was 92 years old.
Dotty Jean was born on Aug. 9, 1928, in Mason City, Neb., to Hugo and Nettie (Jacobsen) Templin. She was Hugo and Nettie’s second daughter.
The family moved to Riverton because of the ravages of the dust bowl and began farming on rented property on the Arapahoe Reservation. Many other Nebraska farm families made the move at the same time and the neighboring farms were tended by family and friends alike. They were established in a community of farm families that had a history of growing up together in Nebraska. Many extended families still reside in Riverton and the surrounding area today.
Dotty Jean graduated from Riverton High School at the young age of 16. She then went to Denver, where she lived with her aunt and uncle, and attended “beauty school.” After becoming licensed to be a hairdresser she moved back to Riverton and began her career in a local beauty shop.
She was always quite concerned that her customers were not happy with their hair and started thinking about changing her career choice. Before she could do that she met her future husband, Chuck Thompson. She went to a pick-up softball game with some girlfriends and was asked to play in the game. She didn’t have a mitt and really didn’t care. It didn’t take much prodding for Chuck to offer her one of his. This is how they met and the rest is history.
They were married in the Riverton United Methodist Church on Dec. 23, 1947. Three years later, on the date of their third anniversary they celebrated the birth of their son Howard Paul. On Sept. 28, 1952, they welcomed their daughter Charlene Rae to the family home. During their time in Riverton she was a full-time mother and tended their lovely home while helping her husband Chuck with his jewelry store. When tragedy struck and the jewelry store burned to the ground Chuck took a job with Wyoming Automotive and they were transferred to Laramie.
They were then transferred to Cody and later took a leap of faith to purchase and start a Napa Store. The Napa Store is still in operation today and owned and operated by their son Howard. During the time they owned and managed the store they were a team – working together day by day and never tiring of one another’s company.
She took her job seriously and worked both at the Napa Store and in the family home to make sure everyone always had what they needed. She tirelessly strove to put others before herself and often stayed up into the wee hours of the morning working to accomplish the things that needed to be done for her family. She always said she loved her life and career and she meant it.
Dotty Jean was a devoted daughter, wife, mother, grandmother and friend. Her faith was of the utmost importance in her life and her day always began at the breakfast table with her Bible. She was a member of the Cody United Methodist church for over 50 years.
She was also a loving member of Chapter D, PEO, in Cody, and was the chapter chaplain for many years. She loved this position and worked and memorized many lessons and parts, as she believed it was the right and proper thing to do. She was known to all for her kindness, gentleness and gracious living. She had a deep and abiding love for her children and grandchildren.
Dotty Jean is survived by her children: Howard (Kathy) Thompson, Charlene (Craig) Olson, grandsons Cameron Thompson, Patrick (Tara) Thompson, Dwight (Danielle) Thompson, Michael File, Thom (Perrine) File, and Bernie File, her great-grandchildren Lily, Peyton, Jaxon, Ria, Paige, Cohen, Charlize, Katie, Henry, Hayden, Hudson, and Hendrix. She has also been blessed with “bonus” grandchildren: Cameron Boni, Patrick Boni, Brian (Carrie) Olson, Kierstyn Olson, Erik (Elisa) Olson and Sarah Olson.
She was preceded by her beloved husband Chuck, her sister Bonnie and her parents.
Funeral services will be held at Cody United Methodist Church on Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020, at 2 p.m. Please keep in mind that masks are required to be worn at the funeral service. Dotty was always concerned about others’ well-being and good health.
Memorials may be made to the Cody United Methodist Church. An on-line memorial is available at BallardFH.com.