Doris N. Thompson

Thompson, Doris

Doris N. Thompson, 103, of Kearney, died August 4, 2021, at the Good Samaritan Society St. John’s in Kearney.  Funeral services will be 11:30 am, August 11, 2021, at the Horner Lieske McBride & Kuhl Funeral Chapel with Pastor John Rasmussen officiating.  Burial will follow the service at the Greenwood Cemetery in Franklin, Nebraska.  Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the funeral home.  Memorials are suggested to the family, to be designated later.  Please visit  to leave a tribute or message of condolence. Horner Lieske McBride & Kuhl Funeral and Cremation Services in Kearney are in charge of arrangements.

Doris (Hall) Thompson was born on a farm south of Campbell, NE on Aug 16, 1917 to Ernest and Inez (Marsh) Hall. Her father’s family was from Barnard, a small farming town in northwest Missouri and her mother’s family was from Custer County near Broken Bow, NE. They met at a dance and it was instant chemistry…in spite of the fact Ernest had brought another girl to the dance. Both of Doris’ parents loved music and dances.

The early years began with her attending District 31 and Spring Valley rural schools up through early high school. At that point, she and her sister Avis moved to Tryon to live with their older sister Della to finish high school, graduating in 1935. Then she taught school in rural McPherson County at Bucktail and Flats and then south of Ringgold before marrying Chuck Schmidt in 1937. To that marriage one daughter and two sons were born: Beverly, Gary and Dave. They lived on several large ranches in that area until 1952 and then moved to their own place in Garfield County northeast of Burwell. She continued her teaching career for nearly 20 years along with many ranch chores from cooking for branding and haying crews, to gardening and raising chickens to feed the family and hired men.

After leaving the ranch, she moved to Holdrege and worked at Gibsons where she loved her “second family”. In 1979, she remarried Rees Thompson and moved to Franklin.

The Hall family was well-known for their talent in music playing for many “barn dances” in the 30s and later when the dances moved to pavilions and gymnasiums in the 40s, 50s and 60s. Each child learned to play an instrument. Doris’ father taught her to play the violin. She enjoyed playing the violin for years along with her sister for the Macon dances and entertaining at the Franklin senior center along with playing hymns at the Methodist church in Franklin.

To fill her love of sewing, Doris began to collect all kinds of dolls that needed a new dress design. She restored, designed, sewed, and dressed some 500 plus dolls purchased from garage sales and thrift stores all over the area. She became well-known for her collection and was featured in an article of the Hastings Tribune newspaper on January 2, 1990. She loved her soap operas, especially the “Young and Restless”. She would be glued to the TV every day when her show was on. Doris was also an avid reader and enjoyed books of all kinds, especially westerns. She was happiest around her family. She especially loved spending time with her grandkids and great grandkids. She will be truly missed, her giggle, laugh, and smile were always contagious.

She was a resident of St Johns beginning in September 2012 after suffering a stroke. Despite her physical setbacks, she was known around the nursing home to be cheerful and full of vinegar among the other (much younger) patients. Her neighbor in the room next to hers was admitted 2 weeks before the covid shutdown/isolation in 2020 and helped her negotiate all the things she needed to adjust to living in a nursing home without any ability to see her relatives for the year. When we were in the home for the last time, that neighbor expressed much gratitude for what mom did for her “taking her under her wing” during that lockdown.

Doris is survived by her daughter, Beverly Gierhan; son, David and wife Barbara Schmidt; 9 grandchildren, 21 great grandchildren, and a host of friends and relatives.

Doris was preceded in death by her husbands; son, Gary; son-in-law, Bud Gierhan; grandson, Mike Gierhan; and her siblings.