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Obituary: Donald B. Thomson, Franklin

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Donald B. Thomson

Donald B. Thomson, 86, passed away peacefully Feb 5, 2013, while residing in Johnson County, where he lived for 50 years.

For all whom had the pleasure of knowing Don, he blessed them with his warm smile, sparkling blue eyes, gentle demeanor and sharp intellect.

Don was born in 1926 in Chicago, Ill. His father died at an early age. He helped support his family by working many jobs throughout his school years. His early love for the Chicago Cubs and Bears was transposed later in life to the Indianapolis Colts and Indiana Pacers, whom he followed faithfully.

Don attended Northwestern University, majoring in business, and became a member of Delta Sigma Pi business fraternity. Don was a lifelong learner and spent most early mornings with coffee and technical books and magazines. He enlisted in the Navy and became a pilot. Don flew naval seaplanes for mission support during World War II.

Later in life, he owned and flew a private plane for business and pleasure. After his military service, he began his civilian career in sales. He studied the trades: mastering plumbing, heating, construction, woodwork, metalwork and mechanical drawing. Job opportunities in these areas took him from Chicago, Ill., to Laconia, NH, and later to Indianapolis.

Don spent the majority of his working career as the advertising sales representative with the Western Horseman Magazine. His love of Arabian horses and Boxer dogs inspired his building of 5T Ranch, west of Bargersville.

Don also established a dog kennel manufacturing business, which became an innovative leader in the industry. He was the past president of the Hoosier Kennel Club in Indianapolis. Don finished his working career as national advertising director for the American Legion Magazine.

Upon his retirement, he created a wood shop and built intricate projects for friends and family. Most projects were preceded by a full set of mechanical drawings to perfect scale, including multiple views and perspective.

Don loved to travel for business and pleasure and had visited places all over the world. He had flown on the Concorde and sailed on the Queen Elizabeth II.

No matter where your travels took you, Don could always suggest the best places to visit, stay or dine. And he always shared those with personal stories and experiences. We now celebrate all that Don was, and has left with us.

His love of travel, playing cards, sketching, singing, dancing, building things with his hands, fine dining, aviation, boating, hunting, movies, basketball and football will forever remind us of a life fully-lived.

Don was preceded in death in 2001 by his wife, Josephine Willard Thomson.

Surviving are their children, Stephen Thomson of Salt Lake City, UT; Scott Thomson of Hood River, Ore., and Kandi Ann Thomson Carson of Avon and nine grandchildren.

Also surviving is his wife, Leah “Gerry” Fear Thomson of Franklin; step-children, Mark and Brenda Canary and Gary and L’Myrl Long; a step-granddaughter and a step-great granddaughter.

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