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William "Bill" Sands Thompson

June 17, 1930 - May 2, 2016

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William “Bill” Sands Thompson

June 17, 1930 ~ May 2, 2016

William “Bill” Sands Thompson, age 85, of Montrose, CO died peacefully at his home Monday morning, May 2, 2016. Bill, the only son of Jane Catherine (Sands) and William Vincent Thompson was born in Milwaukee, WI. He was raised in Southern California and was a 1947 graduate of Van Nuys High and graduated from U.C.L.A in 1950 with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering. He then served his stint in the Air Force and spent some time on the L.A. County Sheriff’s department.

Bill worked hard, beginning at an early age as a commercial fisherman on his uncle’s fishing fleet which began a life-long love affair with water sports. He also spent many years as a ski patrolman at both Aspen and Alta ski resorts. His love of competitive sailing took him to Hawaii in the 1960s where he married his beloved wife, Maggie. They raised their 2 children in Hawaii where Bill and Maggie thrived in the home-building business for many years.

Bill and Maggie then moved to the Log Hill area of Colorado in the mid-1980s and finally to Montrose in 1999 where they continued to build beautiful homes together.

Bill enjoyed traveling the world with his wife and sharing his many stories and photos of their adventures. He once served cocktails to the Rat Pack in Las Vegas and was in Berlin in 1989 when the Wall came down.  Bill and Maggie cruised down the Volga River to Moscow in 1990 as some of the first Americans to be allowed in the country in over 70 years. He was an avid skier and was awarded the status of National Ski Patrolman. Bill was an excellent sailor who not only helped train and support an America’s Cup team but also crewed on a winning Trans-Pacific sailing race. He thoroughly enjoyed his role as the commodore of the Waikiki Yacht Club in 1973. He loved to snorkel and surf and made friends with the likes of Jacques Cousteau and Duke Kahanamoku in Hawaii along with many other friends he made and kept along the way.

Bill is survived by his daughter Kristi Lee Thompson of Escondido, CA; his step-son, Richard Minteer (Emy) of Montrose, CO; and grandson Winter Minteer (Ying) of Honolulu, HI. He was predeceased by his parents, his step-daughter Anita Minteer, and his wife Maggie Thompson.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date in Montrose, CO.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made to HopeWest Hospice, 725 S. 4th Street, Montrose, Co. 81401.  To leave a message for the family, visit Bill made friends out of strangers with his kind and humorous spirit  – he will be missed by all who met him. Crippin Funeral Home & Crematory, in Montrose, is assisting the family.