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Obituary: Donald R. Thompson

Donald Thompson, resident of Sea Cliff since 1947, died June 25, 2009 at age 94. He was a math teacher and track coach at North Shore High School until his retirement in 1975. Donald grew up in Valhalla, NY. He attended Furman University and Columbia University where he majored in education. He served in the Army Air Corp during WWII; he was a sergeant working in enlistment and classification of recruits.

In 1947, Don got a job teaching mathematics at Sea Cliff School. He and his wife Virginia bought their own home in Sea Cliff in 1952, where they lived the rest of their lives. When the local high schools were consolidated into North Shore High School he taught there until his retirement in 1975. He enjoyed coaching track and cross country for many years.

Don and Virginia raised two children – Jeanne (now of Sea Cliff) and Norman (now of Louisville, CO). He and Virginia were active in the Glen Cove Presbyterian Church and then the Sea Cliff United Methodist Church, where Don served on the Board for a number of years.

After his retirement, they traveled extensively around the U.S., visiting all of the 48 contiguous states. They enjoyed visiting their many friends and relatives who were scattered around the U.S. and having them visit in Sea Cliff.

Don was a nature lover and avid bird watcher, eventually identifying over 500 birds in his travels around the U.S. For many years after his retirement, he and Virginia volunteered at Muttontown Preserve, where they shared their knowledge of nature with groups of school children. He was an accomplished travel and nature photographer, shooting thousands of slides. He also enjoyed camping, sailing on Long Island Sound, collecting stamps, gardening, painting watercolors, and playing bridge and Rummikub. He loved being active, with always another project to carry out or another place to take a bird walk. But he also enjoyed his snoozes on the couch, with a cat curled up on his stomach.

Don had a great love of life. He was always an optimist who felt that he had been blessed in his life. He loved to laugh. He loved to spend time with people. He loved to share his knowledge with others. He brought these characteristics to his teaching, his coaching, and his relationships with his family and friends.

Virginia died in 2002.

Services will be held Saturday, July 11 at 3 p.m. at the Sea Cliff United Methodist Church. All are welcome.