He was born November 20, 1931, in Le Roy, Minnesota, to Arne and Millie (Hanson) Thompson. Harold graduated from Spring Valley High School and then attended Luther College where he studied social work, theology and Latin, graduating in 1956. In 1958, he married Elaine K. Eggen and she preceded him in death. Harold lived in Blue Earth, Albert Lea and Winona, Minnesota, before moving to Caledonia in 1978. In 1984, he married Marlys K. (Lessor) Buttell. Harold was employed as Director of Social Services for Faribault County, Winona County and lastly, Houston County. Because of his faith and compassion, he was a strong advocate for people. Harold was instrumental in developing social programs in Houston County such as housing for the elderly, the Sunrise Facility in Spring Grove, Minnesota, education services for the developmentally disabled, services for the chemically dependent, child protective services and mental health services. He also gave temporary foster care to those in need through the county and he was a foreign exchange student host. Harold served on many boards in the community and he was a member of the Caledonia Lions Club and Immanuel Lutheran Church, where he taught Sunday School. He also received the Senior Citizen of the Year Award and the 2007 Volunteer of the Year Award.
Survivors include his wife of 30 years, Marlys; his son, Jeff (Dawn) Thompson; his daughter, Julie (Pat) Lynch; his step-children, Steve (Mary) Buttell, Laurie (Bob) Conway, Paul (Kat) Buttell, Jean (Ken) Tasler, Julie (Jeff) Stemper, Mark (Cathy) Buttell and Mike (Jeanette) Buttell; 26 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; his brothers and sisters, Glenn (Barb) Thompson; Arlys (Larry) Terbeest, Vernon (Diana) Thompson, Harlan (Karen) Thompson, Ilene (David) Robb, Gayle (Dennis) Johnson and Butch (Kathy) Thompson; many nieces and nephews; and six exchange students.
In addition to his first wife, Harold was preceded in death by his parents.
Funeral services will be at 11 a.m., Monday, August 18, 2014, at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Caledonia. Rev. Steven E. Meyer and Sr. Michaeline Healy will officiate. Graveside services will be at 3:30 p.m., later that day, in Six Mile Grove Lutheran Church Cemetery, Lyle, Minnesota. A visitation will be from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m., Sunday, August 17, 2014, and from 10 a.m. until the time of service Monday, both at Immanuel Lutheran Church. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred. Jandt-Fredrickson Funeral Homes and Crematory, (Caledonia Chapel), is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be sent at www.jandtfredrickson.com.