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
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
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
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.
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.