Tyler Thompson, 94, died peacefully at home, March 30, 2002. He was born Sept. 21, 1907, in Elmira, N.Y.

He married Ruth Webb Hunt of Bangor in 1931. In the same year he entered the American Foreign Service and was appointed Vice Consul at Cherbourg by President Herbert Hoover. He remained in the Foreign Service for 38 years.

In 1933 he was transferred to the American Consulate in Marseilles. In 1937 he was assigned to the American Embassy in Paris. He was in Paris in June 1940 when the Germans took over that city. He then handled the Embassyís responsibilities for the protection of British, Canadian, and South African interests. In the summer of 1941 the Germans forced the members of the Embassy staff with diplomatic status, including Mr. Thompson and his wife, to leave Paris. Following a few months duty in Zurich, he joined the staff of the American Embassy in Vichy, France. His wife was with him.

On Nov. 11, 1942, three days after the Allied forces began the liberation of North Africa, German troops violated the free zone of France. The staff of the American Embassy was interned, first briefly at Lourdes and then in Baden Baden, Germany. Mr. and Mrs. Thompsonís internment was from November 1942 to February 1944 when they returned to the United States in a prisoner exchange deal with the Germans.

In June 1944 Mr. Thompson took charge of the American Consulate in Oran, Algeria. In October 1944 he reopened the American Consulate in Marseilles, and in December 1944 he was assigned to the American Embassy in Paris, where he served until 1946. Subsequent assignments included the Department of State, Washington; Counselor of Embassy, Prague, Czechoslovakia; and Counselor of Embassy with the personal rank of Minister in Ottawa, Canada.

More recently he was Director General of the Foreign Service in the Department of State and Ambassador to Iceland. His last assignment was Ambassador to Finland.

He retired to Maine in July 1969 and later was a trustee of the Experiment in International Living. He was awarded the Legion of Honor by the French Government.

He was an avid skier, sailor, and tennis player. He canoed the old trading route in the northern wilds of Canada.

He is survived by his two children, Tyler and Mardi; by five grandchildren, David, Shawna, Jackson, Tyler, and Andrew; and by one  great-grandchild, Harrison. Mr. Thompson is also survived by his brother, Henry; sister, Eunice Orr, as well as numerous nieces and nephews. His sister, Norma, predeceased him.

Memorial services for both Tyler Thompson and his wife, Ruth H. Thompson, who predeceased him, will be held this summer at the Hancock Point Chapel. Those who wish may make memorial contributions to Frenchman Bay Conservancy Fund.


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