In Loving Memory of William (Bill) W. Thompson: 1935-2021


William (Bill) W. Thompson, 86, of Chehalis, Washington, passed away on Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021, after a brief illness. Bill was born in Rochester, Minnesota on Aug. 22, 1935 to William and Mary Bell Thompson. He spent his summers living and working on Swede and Dorothy Culbertson’s farm. At age 19, he joined the U.S. Marine Corp and was off to California. After his discharge from the military, he was hired by Danny Thomas, as the Big Muz Ranch foreman. While he was showing angus cattle for Big Muz, he met a young lady in the cow barns who was also showing cattle. This young lady, Wanda Lassley, would later become his wife. Bill was married to Wanda Lassley on Feb. 1, 1964. They were married 57 years. Bill owned Bill’s Hydraulic Repair in Chehalis for decades. Bill’s shop was also the local gathering place for anyone who needed to pick his brain, whether it was how to repair machinery, find obsolete parts, or any other piece of equipment. Mind you, this was done the old fashion way, because as he always said, “I can’t find anything on that machine on the desk (i.e., the computer).” He closed the hydraulic shop and “retired” in the spring of 2021. This has been a loss for the local community and his friends who were frequently stopping by to “check in.” There was always someone stopping by the shop to find out what was going on in the area, get some advice, or just to say hello and check on Wanda. He was a longstanding member and retired from Lewis County Fire District 6 and was a member of Logan Hill Grange for many years. He had a lifelong passion for steam trains. He was actively involved in the restoration of Engine 15 and the beginning of the Chehalis-Centralia Railroad. Bill is survived by his wife Wanda Thompson; daughters Dodie Carlson, Jodi Thompson and Ann Clasey; grandchildren Kevin (Hilary) Carlson, Kenny (Nicole) Carlson, Kristine Carlson and Jessica (Evelio) Lopez; great-grandchildren Olivia and Wyatt Carlson, Kenzy, Emma and Colt Carlson and Alyssa Carlson; and sister Anita “Punky” Jacobson. Bill is also survived by his beloved sisters-in-law Shirley Sweet, Mary (Don) Church, Roxie (George) Nicewonger and numerous nieces and nephews, as well as many who called Bill dad and grandpa. Bill is preceded in death by his parents, William and Mary Bell Thompson, and father and mother-in-law, Leonard and Hazel Lassley. A celebration of Bill’s life will be held at a future date. In lieu of flowers, Bill’s family requests memorials be in the form of donations to St. Jude Hospital