David D. Thompson

David Douglas Thompson passed away on Tuesday, October 3 while competing in the Sunfish World Championships in Charleston, South Carolina. He had spent the previous several years as an avid Sunfish racer with the Lake Region Sailing Club, winning a number of trophies and teaching other sailors his skills. David was competing in the World Championships of his favorite sport for the second time when he died of a heart attack at age 55.

David was an epic character to everyone who knew him- a man with an amazing story for every occasion, drawn from a colorful life racing ponies, horses, slot cars and sailboats, competing in demolition derbies, training race horses and serving in the pit crew for stock car races. David was an adventurer who loved racing in all its forms, but he was also a musician and an intellectual. He could hold a conversation on any topic until the early hours of the morning. Politics, mythology, religion or history, he would take on any subject with both passion and learning, his eyes gleaming with the thrill of good conversation and one eyebrow raised quizzically as he made his point. He was especially fascinated with physics and metaphysics.

Much of his free time was spent composing music, ranging from somber and dramatic neoclassical compositions to surreal avant garde symphonies and contemporary trance pieces with driving dance beats. He could play the piano, organ, trumpet, accordion, guitar, mandolin, banjo, dulcimer, recorder, and kantele, but his favorite method was to compose on the computer, using a variety of music software.

He was also a skilled programmer who participated in the early days of the computer revolution as an engineer for Gould Modicon. He took his family to rural Maine in the mid-80s to become a homesteader, building a stackwall log cabin along a dirt road in Denmark. As editor of the Pequawket Valley News and the Independent Observer, he helped provide the Fryeburg area with an independent newspaper for a number of years. Longtime readers will remember his spirited and fiercely independent-minded editorials. No one could ever pin his politics down as conservative or liberal. David’s editorials defied all categories, but they shared a common theme of individual liberty and respect for justice.

Everyone who came in contact with David will remember him as a true original, a man unlike anyone else and an inspiration to others. He had big dreams and he never compromised them, and he taught his children to do the same.

David was a devoted husband and father. He taught his children to be resourceful and to examine the world in which they lived. He worked hard for his family his whole life, giving them the benefit of his labor, his experience and his intellect.

He is survived by his wife Lani, his children Jason, Scott, and Jeff Thompson, Lindsey Thompson-Rowell and her husband Mike, Heather Woollard and her husband Mark, his grandchildren Ben Thompson and Rhiannon and Lindsey Woollard, adopted family members Caitlin Cummings and Bob Giordano, his parents Dick and Anne Thompson, his sister Cindy Williams, his mother-in-law Ruth Harju, his best friend Dave Stuart and the many others who were touched by his remarkable life.