Forest Grove City Councilor Ronald Thompson dies
Ronald Thompson, a member of the Forest Grove City Council who had served for nearly two decades, died Wednesday morning, Feb. 12, according to an announcement from the city of Forest Grove.
Thompson was first elected in 2002. He had most recently been re-elected in 2018 and was midway through his fifth term.
The cause of death was not immediately known. The city said Thompson's death was unexpected.
Thompson is the second sitting member of the Forest Grove City Council to die within the past few months. Tom Johnston, who was first elected in 2002 alongside Thompson, died last October after a brief battle with leukemia.
"Ron was a productive member of our council," said Forest Grove Mayor Pete Truax in a statement. "He served for almost 18 years and in that time helped shepherd projects through the often convoluted world of public policy. For example, he played a significant role in the discussion, planning and implementation of the roundabouts on Highway 47, making that key road in Northwest Oregon softer for all. He will be missed."
A U.S. Army veteran, Thompson grew up in East Texas, near the Arkansas state line. He moved to Forest Grove in 1980 and lived there for the rest of his life.
Thompson spent 30 years working for the U.S. Forest Service in a variety of roles, including as a firefighter, forester, policy analyst and ranger. He also worked for several years as a city planner in Waldport and Yachats, in Lincoln County on the Oregon coast.
In his later years, Thompson volunteered as a driver with GroveLink, the free shuttle service in Forest Grove provided by Ride Connection, and served on Ride Connection's board of directors. He also drove for the Meals on Wheels People, delivering meals to housebound seniors throughout the Forest Grove area.
For years, Thompson acted as the City Council's liaison to the Forest Grove Senior & Community Center, which is operated by a local nonprofit. He was a vocal advocate for Forest Grove's older residents.
He was also active with the League of Oregon Cities.
Thompson is survived by family including his wife, Donna, and their two daughters.
No plans for a funeral service had been announced as of Thursday morning.
Under the Forest Grove city charter, council vacancies are filled by appointment. Appointees are entitled to serve out the unexpired term to which they are named.
Editor's note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the date of Thompson's death. The story now reflects the accurate date. This story has been further updated Thursday, Feb. 13, with more information on Thompson's early life, career and family.
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