Cover photo for Rick Thompson's Obituary
Rick Thompson Profile Photo
1949 Rick 2022

Rick Thompson

August 12, 1949 — March 18, 2022

Rick Thompson lost his courageous year-long battle with pancreatic cancer passing away Friday, March 18, 2022, at Peace Hospice, Great Falls, Montana.


Rick was born 72 years ago to Elmer and Bernice (Housel) Thompson. Raised in Lewistown, MT, Rick spent his childhood exploring old mining towns, the mountains, riding motorcycles, fishing and hunting with his family. At 16 he became a disc jockey at KXLO, Lewistown’s only radio station. During summers in high school, he learned to fly, earning his private pilot’s license. He loved flying, renewing his license and flying whenever he could. He graduated from Fergus High School in 1967.


After graduation Rick came to Bozeman to attend Montana State University. At that time the campus radio station, KATS, was a closed system available only in MSU dorms. Rick, together with other students, moved the KATS studio into the Student Union Building where it became KGLT-KATS and expanded the coverage area to the Gallatin Valley. He served as KGLT-KATS General Manager from 1971 to 1972. Along with the other dedicated students, he was proud to expand the programing and coverage of the student-run radio station. Rick received his BA in Film and Television from MSU in 1972.


After college, Rick worked several years at KBMN, one of two Bozeman commercial radio stations. He produced commercials and was an on-air disc jockey five days a week. It was always a surprise to him, out and about in Bozeman, when listeners would recognize his voice from the radio. Throughout his life, Rick entertained his friends and family with his on-the-air radio voice.


Rick married Kathy Swift on the Bicentennial Fourth of July 1976. A year later, fulfilling a dream of owning his own company, he started Thompson Media, a full-service graphic design and video production company, offering advertising, graphic design, photography and marketing consultation. He and Kathy operated the business until his retirement. Rick was active in many community organizations including the Gallatin History Museum, Sweet Pea and Bozeman Chamber of Commerce serving on the Board and as a Green Coat.


Rick loved to travel, explore new places and make new friends. He will be remembered for his sense of humor and his story telling. He was preceded in death by his parents and his in-laws. He is survived by his wife of almost 46 years, Kathy; sister in-law, Lorraine Myhr (Jerry); niece, Tara DelloIacono Thies (Aaron); nephew, Sean DelloIacono (Courtney); special cousin, Ruth Hoagland Lindstrand; numerous cousins and friends.


Rick was grateful for the care, kindness and compassion shown by his oncologist, Dr. Courtney Wagner and the staff of the Bozeman Health Cancer Center in the last year. During his last 21 days, he had round-the-clock, devoted, loving care from the staff at Peace Hospice, a residential hospice in Great Falls.


Cremation has taken place. Memorials in Rick’s honor may be made to Peace Hospice, Gallatin Valley Food Bank or Heart of the Valley Animal Shelter.


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Rick Thompson, please visit our flower store.

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