COLD WEATHER CASUALTY – Sitka Public Works Department employees dig up a section of broken water line near the corner of Price Street and Sawmill Creek Road this afternoon. Nearby houses continue to have water, but may have reduced pressure. While work is being done, the intersection is closed from the corner to Lillian Drive. Detours for access to the Lance Drive and the Hillside Subdivision neighborhoods are from Smith Street and Jarvis Street. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Lorraine Thompson Dies; Well-Known in Fisheries

Lorraine Rude Thompson
January 24, 1923 - January 6, 2020


Lorraine Thompson, who with her husband Tommy was well-known in Southeast fisheries for many years, passed away January 6 in Petersburg. She was 96.
Graveside services were held in Petersburg, and a service will be planned in the spring.
Constance Lorraine Rude, born January 24, 1923, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, was the daughter of J.O. and Amy Brekke Rude.
After earning his degree, Doc Rude moved his young family to Ketchikan to practice medicine. However, when his Norwegian language skills were discovered he was asked to move to Petersburg in 1928, which he did.
Doc Rude and Amy took their four kids on many adventures aboard their Chriscraft, driving as far away as Telegraph Creek, and Lorraine developed a deep appreciation for all that nature had to offer. After a childhood spent exploring the forests and waterways surrounding her Petersburg home, she returned to Minnesota to earn her biology degree at St. Olaf College. After graduation she returned home to Petersburg to teach during the war years.
At the end of World War II, Lorraine’s childhood sweetheart, Tommy Thompson, returned from serving in the Aleutians and the two were married on September 10, 1945. Five years later Harold was born and Lorraine dedicated herself to motherhood. She went on to have Mark, Amy Jo, Grechen and Thomas. Lorraine was the consummate mother, a member of the PTA, and always up for a picnic, an outing to ice skate, hike or pick berries.
Raised in the Lutheran Church, Lorraine continued to be a very active member of both the Petersburg and Sitka Lutheran Churches. She enjoyed teaching Sunday school and singing in the choir, baked countless pies and oversaw many a youth group activity.
Her husband Tom was busy working at Petersburg Cold Storage and later PFI, so during the summer months Lorraine packed provisions into backpacks, put the kids in waders and headed out for weeks at a time to their small cabin on the south side of Blind Slough. Her niece Kay Cisney (Bennett) spent many summers helping her beloved Aunt Lorraine to care for her younger cousins. Lolo passed her love of the natural world on to her children and never lost the thrill of seeing a beautiful sunset, a soaring eagle, birds and flowers, rocks and shells.
In 1981 Tom and Lorraine moved to Sitka to run Sitka Sound Seafoods as a family business. Lorraine manned the front desk with clippers at the ready for fishermen who needed a haircut. It was a wonderful era full of hard work and lots of fun making the fleet feel a part of the family.
After retiring, the Thompsons enjoyed traveling with friends and family. Tom passed away preparing his boat for an outing in November 1997, and Lorraine stayed on in Sitka surrounded by family until her move back to Petersburg to The Mountain View Manor in October 2011, where sons Tommy and Harold visited her every day.
Lorraine is survived by her sister Audrey Gilbert of Annapolis, Maryland; her five children (Harold, Mark, Amy Jo, Grechen and Thomas); eight grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
The  grandchildren, their spouses and children are Daniel and Jessica Stockel and son Cameron; Kaari and Greg Berry and sons Hudson and Mason; Brooke and Tim Chartier and daughter Loraine; Kirsten Stockel; Ky Stockel; Anna Thompson; Soren Thompson; and Kate Thompson.
Lorraine was treasured all of her life for her strength, her open heart, her quick wit, and her genuine kindness. She will be missed.

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