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1936 Danny 2022

Danny Harris Thompson

June 30, 1936 — November 15, 2022

Kalamazoo

Danny Harris Thompson, age 86, of Kalamazoo passed away November 15, 2022. He was born June 30, 1936 in Troy, Michigan to the late Robert and Mamie (Harris) Thompson.

Danny was a devoted, loving, and joyful husband, father, grandfather, business man, community servant, and educator. After graduating from Troy High School, Danny attended the University of Michigan where he met the love of his life and soulmate, Shirley. They were married in 1959 and two weeks after the wedding, Danny left to serve in the U.S. Army Security Agency in Korea. He returned to finish his bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University, his MSW from Wayne State, and his PhD for Social Work from the University of Chicago in 1972.

Danny was committed to serving others and making the world a better place. After years of working in the welfare system, he went on to start a consulting firm that provided services to states across the country with agency administration, system analysis and design, social planning, community development, and business management. While he enjoyed this important work, Danny loved his time on the streams fly fishing and in the fields hunting birds. (He has been known to tell a few “tall tales” after returning from these adventures!) This prompted him to return to Michigan, the Great Lakes State, and take a job as a professor at Western Michigan University.

During his 24 years of service in the School of Social Work, Danny helped prepare hundreds of students for their careers in social work and was “famous” for his high expectations, GANNT and PERT charts, and uncanny ability to foster significant professional growth in his students:).  In addition to his classroom impact, Danny served on dozens of state and local nonprofit boards, helped develop Western’s Certificate Program in Nonprofit Leadership and Management, published studies, and started another business, Wood Hills Assisted Living Center.

Danny will be remembered most for his love of life!  He was always laughing, playing practical jokes on family and friends, planning adventurous travel around the world, and most of all, investing in those he loved.

Danny was preceded in death by his parents and brothers, Robert and Larry Thompson. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Shirley Thompson; daughter, Cheryl (Dean) Schuch; son, Gregory (Heather) Thompson; and grandchildren, Andrew, Erica, Kaeli, and Kristin. A memorial service will be held Saturday, November 26 at 3:00pm at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, 1747 W Milham Ave, Portage, MI 49024, where family will greet friends from 2:00-3:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Good Samaritan Fund at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Michigan Trout Unlimited, or the WMU School of Social Work. To share a memory or leave a condolence for the family, please visit https://www.langelands.com

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Visitaion

Saturday, November 26, 2022

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

Prince of Peace Lutheran Church

1747 West Milham Avenue, Portage, MI 49024

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Memorial Service

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Starts at 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

Prince of Peace Lutheran Church

1747 West Milham Avenue, Portage, MI 49024

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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