Donald L. Thompson


Donald L. Thompson of Edgartown and Naples, Fla., died on Saturday, April 21, in Naples after a long illness. He was 79.

He leaves behind his devoted wife, Marie. They would have been married for 50 years this June. He was preceded in death by their son, Perry.

Don was born on November 15, 1932, in Highland Park, Mich,. and he grew up in Chicago. He graduated from St. George’s High School and received his Bachelor’s degree from City College of New York.

Don served in the U.S. Army for two years. He received medals for sharp-shooting and good conduct.

He then received his Master’s degree from Long Island University. He was an assistant professor who taught radiation physics to radiological residents at Kings County Hospital and Downstate Medical Center in New York. Then, on June 4, 1972, Don received is Doctor of Philosophy degree.

Don’s contributions to the Food and Drug Administration’s Bureau of Radiological Health were many and he was asked many times not to retire. He developed and revised the protective action guide for the handling of food contaminated by radiation.

He participated in conducting a successful exercise of the federal response plan government-wide and also received the FDA Commissioners’ special citation. He received many awards, recognitions, and citations throughout his long and successful career.

Don enjoyed his retirement which he spent on the Vineyard and in Florida during the winter months. He especially loved table tennis, and he was quite the champion who won many matches and received many accolades. He was also an avid boater.

Most of all, Don was a kind and gentle human being who laughed easily, smiled often and loved the life he shared with Marie and his friends.

Visiting hours will he held at the family home at 18 Orran Norton Way in Edgartown on Sunday, April 29, from 2 to 4 pm

His Funeral Mass will be held at 12 noon on April 30 at St. Elizabeth’s Church on Main Street in Edgartown. He will be interred in the New Westside Cemetery in Edgartown.

Donations may be made in Don’s memory to Camp Jabberwocky, P.O. Box 1357, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568.

Arrangements are under the care of the Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home, Edgartown Road, Oak Bluffs. Visit for online guest book and information.