Coping with Grief
We would like to offer our sincere support to anyone coping with grief. Enter your email below for our complimentary daily grief messages. Messages run for up to one year and you can stop at any time. Your email will not be used for any other purpose.
Merrill Vern Thomson, of Magrath, passed away on September 27, 2023 at the age of 75 years.
Merrill was born August 20, 1948 in Lethbridge, Alberta to Earl and La Dean Passey Thomson. He was the youngest of 5, enjoying his formative years with his siblings Jolayne, Melvin, Weldon, and Lenore.
He attended school in Magrath. Following graduation, he worked alongside his father Earl, as well as his grandfather George, and his brother Melvin on the farm. On October 29, 1967 tragedy struck when his mother La Dean passed away suddenly. Merrill was 19 at the time, and took the loss hard. Shortly afterward, he made the decision to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He faithfully served in the Toronto, Ontario Mission, experiencing growth in his testimony. This experience helped shape him into the man we all loved.
After his mission, Merrill returned to work on the farm with Earl while attending college in Lethbridge where he pursued studies that he hoped would lead him to becoming a veterinarian. As life would have it, he changed direction and charted a lifelong course toward growing Thomson Livestock Ltd with Earl.
During this time, he met a young lady that had arrived in Magrath from Denmark. After a short courtship, he and Lise Olsen married in the Cardston Temple in 1970. They were blessed with 4 children; Craig, Chad, Clarke, and La Dean.
Merrill was a man with many passions in life. He loved his farm and, alongside Earl and later his son, Craig, worked hard for many years at growing the business. At it its peak, their operation had more than 1200 head of cattle that Merrill raised in the feedlot before trailing them by horseback more than 20 miles to the rangeland on the Milk River Ridge, a place that was always dear to his heart.
Merrill also loved his horses. He was an integral part of the cutting horses that he and Earl worked to develop strong bloodlines in. He had many champion horses, including one that he won the Canadian non-pro championship with. He took pride in developing pedigree horses that were sought out by others.
Merrill’s love for his family was evident every day. He started each day with a smile, oftentimes working in a pun to get everyone’s day off on the right foot. As an original inventor of the ‘Dad joke”, he was always quick witted in his ability to find humor in any situation, an invaluable trait for anyone who works with cattle for a living. He constantly invested in his family, and always looked for ways to instill a love of adventure traveling extensively with them. He treasured his time with his grandchildren, and loved each of them dearly. He was the ultimate example of an amazing husband, father, and grandfather.
His love for the Gospel was unwavering. He was steady in his faith and he exercised it daily regardless of who he was around. His love for the gospel was evident through the many callings he faithfully served in through his life, and the beautiful music he made when singing his beloved hymns, right to the end.
Merrill is survived by his beloved wife, Lise Thomson of Magrath; sons, Craig (Lachelle) Thomson of Magrath, Chad Thomson of Calgary, and Clarke (Sarah) Thomson of Nampa, Idaho; daughter La Dean (Ross) May of Barnwell; special daughter Suzanne Teran; 15 grandchildren, and three great grandsons; siblings, Jolayne Robinson, Melvin Thomson, Weldon Thomson, and Lenore Cahoon. He is predeceased by his parents, Earl Thomson and La Dean Passey Thomson.
Family and friends are invited to a visitation on Friday, October 6, 2023 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm at the Garden Place Chapel, 170 Centre St N, Magrath, Alberta as well as a visitation on Saturday October 7 at 10:00 am with a funeral service to follow at 11:00 am on Saturday, October 7 at the Garden Place Chapel. Interment to follow at the Magrath Cemetery.
Special thanks to all of the staff and doctors at Edith Cavell Care Center. While Merrill’s time with each of you was short, we appreciate the personal care that you gave to our husband, father, and grandfather. You lifted all of us when we needed it.