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Charles M. Thompson

(Feb. 27, 1926 - Sept. 18, 2012)

Charles M. “Chuck” Thompson died on Sept. 18, 2012 in Billings, Mont. He was 86 years old. Chuck was born on Feb. 27, 1926 in Bogue, Kan., to Martin I. and Mable Cooksey Thompson. He was the fifth of six children, and the family moved to Lander in the early 1930s. Tragedy struck with the loss of their mother while the children were still young. Shortly thereafter, the siblings were separated from one another, but over the years, Chuck’s older sister Frankie always kept a watchful eye on him.

In the following years, Chuck supported himself with various jobs until 1943 when, at the age of 17, he enlisted in the United States Navy. He served his country proudly during World War II on the U.S.S. Randolph, a Naval aircraft carrier in the South Pacific.

Following the war, he returned to Lander and met Dotty Jean Templin at a coed pickup softball game. Dotty Jean needed a mitt, and Chuck was more than happy to provide her with his.

Chuck and Dotty were married on Dec. 23, 1947 at the Methodist Church in Riverton. 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, into the family. At the time, Riverton did not have a hospital so both children were born in Lander.

Before Chuck and Dotty Jean were married, Chuck enrolled in the American Academy of Horology (watchmaking) in Denver, Colo. This led to opening a jewelry store in Riverton, which was subsequently lost to a fire. The family moved to Cody in 1960 and one year later opened NAPA Auto Parts. Chuck and Dottie worked side by side until retirement in 1993, at which time the business was passed on to their son Howard.

Chuck was a devoted husband, father and grandfather, and the most important thing in his life was his relationship with his family. He also loved his church and volunteered countless hours to various organizations in the Cody community. Known for his gentle and caring personality, Chuck will be forever missed and remembered for both his unwavering integrity and kindness.

Chuck is survived by his wife, Dotty Jean of Cody; son Howard (Kathy) Thompson of Cody; his daughter Charlene (Craig) Olson of Cody; grandsons Cameron (Becky) Thompson, Patrick (Tara) Thompson, Dwight (Danielle) Thompson, Michael File, Thomas File, Bernie File; his great-grandchildren Lily, Peyton, Jaxson, Ria, Paige, Cohen, Charlize, Henry and Hayden; as well as grandchildren Cameron Boni, Patrick Boni, Brian (Carrie) Olson, Kierstyn (Kevin) Adamson, Erik Olson and Sarah Olson. Additionally, he is survived by his beloved sister, Frankie Sales and his many nieces and nephews.

Chuck was preceded in death by his parents and his siblings Dorothy, Ray, Helen and Alice.

A memorial service was held Monday in Cody.

Memorials may be made to the Cody United Methodist Church. An online memorial is available at

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