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Services: Funeral will be held on August 8, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. at the Heart Butte School. Tom will be buried on the Thompson family property following the funeral services. The wake will be held August 6th and 7th at the Heart Butte Community Center with rosary to take place at 7:00 p.m. on August 7th.
Survivors: Tom is survived by his daughter Deborah Thompson of Tampa, Florida; his sons, Mark Thompson of Great Falls, MT, Evan (Jenna)Thompson of Helena Thompson, and Leigh (Heidi) Johnson of Sherwood, Oregon; his sister, Helen Thompson, of Great Falls, Montana; his longtime friend and companion, Carmen Taylor, of Ronan, Montana; his grandchildren, Amber Shoemaker, of Libby, Montana; Andre Thompson, of Tampa Florida; Jude and Natalie Thompson, of Helena, Montana; and 4 great granddaughters.
Tom was born August 5, 1940 in Browning, Montana on the Blackfeet Reservation to Myron and Francis Thompson. He was raised in Browning and Heart Butte, Montana. Tom was previously married to Marilyn Potter, Mary Lou Miller, and Athena Mosxona. In his later years, he went on many adventures with his friend and companion Carmen Taylor.
Tom went to Heart Butte day and elementary schools and graduated from Browning High School, Browning, Montana. Tom received his Two-Year Diploma and Bachelor’s of Science in Elementary Education from Northern Montana College, in Havre, Montana. Tom went on to earn his Master’s of Education in Educational Administration from the University of Montana, Missoula, Montana and completed the coursework for the doctoral program at the University of North Dakota.
Tom had a lifetime career in, and commitment to, education. Tom began his career as a teacher in Joplin, Montana and Brady, Montana, and later became the Elementary Principal of Brady Public Schools. Tom then became an instructor and director of Student Special Services at Bemidji State College in Bemidji, Minnesota. Tom returned to Montana, where he was the associate director and director of the Teacher Corps at Eastern Montana College in Billings, Montana. Tom then returned home to the Blackfeet Reservation, where he served as the Federal Programs Coordinator, Assistant Superintendent, and eventually the Superintendent of Schools for Browning Public Schools. Tom later provided educational consulting services to various organizations nationally and internationally.
Tom served on many boards, including the Montana Public Board of Education; Montana Advisory Council on Indian Education; Board of Trustees for the Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe, New Mexico; Board of Directors for the Association of American Indian Affairs, New York City; Chairman of the National Advisory Council on Indian Education; Chairman of the Native American Task Force on Compensatory Education; the National Indian Education Association and Montana Indian Education Association; the Council of Elders for Montana State University, and the Heart Butte School Board.
Tom received many awards throughout his career, including the Executive 100 Administrator (The Executive Editor - 1986), Educator of the Year (National Indian Ed. Assc. - 1985), and Educator of the Year (Montana Indian Educator Association – 1984), and received Presidential Appointments under Presidents Reagan and Ford.
Tom served on the Blackfeet Tribal Business Council as vice chairman. Tom also owned and operated Thompson’s Store in Heart Butte, which his parents opened in the 1940s.
Tom enjoyed hunting, fishing, hiking, horses, karaoke, and the occasional glass of wine.