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Bernard 'Bud''s Story

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Bernard Arthur "Bud" Thompson, 79, of Suttons Bay, passed away on Thursday, June 8, 2017 at Munson Medical Center with his family by his side.
"A new commandment I give unto you, That you Love one another; as I have Loved you, That you also Love one another." John 13:34
Bud was born on July 20, 1937 in Saginaw, the son of Bernard G. and Marian E. (Garner) Thompson. On July 16, 1960 in Saginaw, he married Mary Jean Ackerman, who survives.
Bernard A. Thompson, M.S.W., A.C.S.W. graduated from Saginaw High School in 1955. He obtained an Associate of Science Degree from Bay City Junior College in 1957 and a Bachelors Degree in Science from Central Michigan University in 1959. He secured a position as Juvenile Probation Officer with the Saginaw County Probate Court in Jan. of 1960 where he met his future wife. In 1961, they moved to Michigan State University where he received a Masters Degree in Social Work in 1963. They then moved to Wisconsin where he was Chief Social Worker at Winnebago State Hospital in the children's department from June of 1963 until June of 1964, to satisfy a grant requirement. In Aug. 1964, he was hired as Field Office Supervisor of Michigan Childrens Aid in Bay City. In Feb. 1967, he became Executive Director of Child and Family Services (Michigan Childrens Aid) in Traverse City. His staff grew from 7 in 1967 to 60 in 2000 when he retired.
During his time at CFS he helped start and maintain many programs such as the Benzie County Community Chest; Retired Senior Volunteer Program; Grand Traverse Big Brothers/Big Sisters Program; Parkdale and Harvest Acres AIS/MR Facilities; the first specialized (Intensive Care) foster care program in the state in 1973; and the first "residential rated" group home for girls in Northern Michigan (Murchie House) in 1975. Bud was also involved with many other social service agencies. In 1968, he helped to found the Michigan Federation of Private Child and Family Agencies located in Lansing and served on various Board positions there. He helped to re-establish the Top of Michigan Childrens Agencies (TOMCA) serving northern Michigan in the Upper Peninsula.
In 1979 Bud was named Michigan's Social Worker of the Year. Bud and his wife Mary Jean, have lived in Suttons Bay since 1967. He was a past member of the Lions Club and the Rotary Club of Traverse City. He was a member of the Keswick United Methodist Church where he served in many positions on the Church Council and was an Adult Sunday School teacher for over 20 years. He became a member of the Emmaus Community in 1992 and joined the Kairos Prison Ministry Program (Keryx) in 1993. Bud volunteered at Kinross Prisons in the Upper Peninsula, doing monthly meetings and four-day Christian walks with the inmates until 2002. In 2002, he helped Chaplain Ray Moore to establish the Keryx Program at Pugsley Prison in Kingsley. He volunteered for weekly Sunday Christian meetings with the inmates and two four-day walks yearly at Puglsey until March 2016 when his health failed.
Bud tried to portray God's love in whatever he was doing. He was a wonderful husband and father. Bud's hobbies included reading extensively and Sudoku. He also liked to watch sports including the Tigers, Lions, Red Wings, and Pistons. His favorite was watching the Spartans football and basketball teams. Go Green! He and his wife had season football tickets for over 20 years, hardly ever missing a game to tailgate with his brothers. From his chair, Bud liked to watch the birds at their feeders, especially the Pileated Woodpecker family. Bud's family would like to thank the I.C.U., Trauma, and Palliative Care staffs at Munson Medical Center for their kind care of Bud and his family while he was there.
In addition to his wife of 56 years, Bud is survived by his son, Victor B. (Rhonda) Thompson; his daughter, Susan M. Alpers (Kevin Dempsey); grandchildren, Zachary Alpers, Sarah and Soren Thompson; four great-grandchildren; and siblings, James B. (Mary Ann) Thompson and Judith K. (Gary) Thorne; and sister-in-law, Janice Thompson.
He was preceded in death by his parents; an infant son, David M.; and brothers, Larry and Robert Thompson; and sister-in-law, Carla Thompson.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, July 15 at 11 a.m. at Keswick United Methodist Church with visitation held one hour prior. The Rev. Patricia Haas will officiate.
Memorials may be directed to Keswick United Methodist Church, 3376 S. Center Hwy., Suttons Bay, MI 49682, Child & Family Service, 3785 Veterans Dr., Traverse City, MI 49684 and/or to Traverse Area Keryx, 4811 Pinespur Trl., Traverse City, MI 49685.
Condolences and memories may be shared with the Thompson family at www.martinson.info.
Arrangements are with the Martinson Funeral Home & Cremation Services of Leelanau.
Published on July 11, 2017
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