Ivan Barry Thompson, age 88, of Provo, Utah, graduated with honors from this school called life on Friday, January 26, 2018.
Barry was born December 31, 1929, in Logan, Utah, to Ivan Hall and Ella Margaret Lundquist Thompson of Weston, Idaho. He grew up on a farm in beautiful Cache Valley. There he developed a strong work ethic, love of God and country, and a curiosity about the world. He idolized his wonderful parents. He was an Eagle Scout, with three palms. He earned his bachelors degree from BYU, then served in the US Army in Korean in POW repatriation and as a war correspondent. After his service, he pursued a masters degree from Columbia University. He met the love of his life Ellen Elaine Keeler of Provo during the early years of his career in international banking in New York City. They were sealed on January 3, 1958, in the LDS Manti Temple. Recently, they celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.
Barry and Ellen raised their family in Los Angeles, California; Cleveland, Ohio; Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Orem, Utah. Barry’s work took him around the globe to adventures in more than eighty countries, but to Ellen he was always “Sweetheart,” and to his children he was simply “Dad”.
Barry and Ellen were life-time and eternal sweethearts, giving their children and grandchildren a great example of being true to each other. They weathered life’s challenges as a team. They were on the same page in all the important things, and supported each other in their differing roles, hobbies, and perspectives. Barry took seriously his responsibilities as husband, father and priesthood holder. He and Ellen worked tirelessly to raise their children to love the Lord, work hard, serve their neighbors, and honor their heritage. Barry was gratified to be a Thompson, seeking to emulate the best qualities of his ancestors. He was proud of his Scottish heritage, and got a kick out of wearing his kilt for special occasions.
Barry had a wide range of interests and hobbies. He loved to read and learn, collecting a prodigious library of books of all kinds. He developed a love of classical, jazz and Big Band music, and had a great collection to listen to. He was a great dancer all his adult life, wowing his Cove Point neighbors when he and Ellen cut a rug at a party just a few months ago. He was an amazing gardener, growing enough vegetables to share with family and neighbors. He was always a clean-cut, snappy dresser, taking great pride in his professional appearance, but when we set off on our summer vacations, he would turn into a very large Boy Scout: dressing down, wearing hiking boots, and sporting a mustache. Family vacations nearly always included visits to historical places camping and hiking. From the time he first came to BYU, he fell in love with Mount Timpanogos. He hiked it countless times—nearly yearly after he moved to Utah. It was his mountain. He loved to compete with his children and grandchildren at most anything: sports and hiking earlier in life, and more recently ping-pong and Chinese checkers. Barry was a tease.
Barry was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and he loved his lifetime of service in many church callings in the Sunday School, Boy Scouts, Young Single Adults, priesthood quorums and family history work. He served as a high counselor, counselor in a bishopric, and bishop. He was a conscientious home teacher. In his senior years, he and Ellen found joy serving in the Mount Timpanogos Temple, at the Missionary Training Center, and in the BYU Asian Ward. He served two service missions with his sweetheart—in La Paz, Bolivia and in Toronto, Canada.
In 2001, Barry's work of many years came to fruition when his book “Enduring to the End” was published. It was his testimony about the importance of being true and faithful to the end. He closes his book with the words of our Savior from 3 Nephi 15:9: “Look unto me, and endure to the end…for unto him that endureth to the end will I give eternal life”.
Dad, you have fought a good fight, finished your course, and kept the faith. You have endured. We salute you and love you, and look forward to being with you again.
Barry is survived by his wife Ellen; their eight children: Douglas (Michele), Kathleen (Todd Skinner), Bradford (Tami), Ginny (Scott Smith), David, Jonathan (Keeko), Margaret (Steve Willis), and Martha (Michael Johnson); twenty-four grandchildren; almost nine great-grandchildren; and three siblings: Dennis (Karen), Thomas (Annette) and Margaret (Ted Silk).
Funeral services will be held Friday, February 2, 2018, at 11 a.m. in the Suncrest 5th Ward Chapel located at 140 North 400 West, Orem, Utah. A viewing for friends and family will be held that morning 9:30-10:30 a.m. just prior to services at the church. Burial will be in the Provo City Cemetery.
Condolences may be expressed to the family on this page.