University Letter

UND's faculty and staff newsletter

Remembering Arnie Thompson

Arnold (Arnie) O. Thompson, Jr., UND grad and active member of the Alumni Association, passed away peacefully on June 14, 2023, at Shorewood Memory Care. Arnie was born September 22, 1925, in Grand Forks, N.D. to Arnold O. and Clara M. (Anderson) Thompson. Arnie was a 1943 graduate of Central High School, Grand Forks, N.D. and upon graduation, joined the military. He was a veteran of World War II and served time with the Merchant Marines in the South Pacific. In 1952, Arnie graduated from the University of North Dakota with a degree in education.Arnie thompson

Arnie was employed by Western Adjustment and Inspection Company as a multiple Line General Adjuster until 1959. He then was managing partner of Rochester Osterud Agency Inc., an affiliate of Home Federal Savings and Loan, until his retirement in 1978.

Arnie married Elizabeth (Simmons) Schoenfelder on December 2, 1978, in Medford, Ore. and was happily married until her passing in 2021. Arnie is survived by his sister Joanne (Tommie) Retzlaff (John) of Medford, Ore. Daughters in law; Pat Schoenfelder, Gwen Schoenfelder and Sharon Schoenfelder. Grandchildren; Karianne (Jake) Johnson, Chad (Nicole) Schoenfelder, Megan Schoenfelder, Jamie Schoenfelder (fiancé Brian Wood) Taylor (Tiffany) Schoenfelder, Jennifer Schoenfelder, and Bethany Schoenfelder. Great grandchildren; Kayleen, Connor and Meleah Johnson, RJ Schoenfelder, William and Cole Savick, Miklyn Schoenfelder, Avery and Carley Schoenfelder, Autumn Schoenfelder, Anthony Schoenfelder along with many nieces and nephews.

Arnie was preceded in death by his wife Elizabeth, sister Geraldine Kelly Trout, brother-in-law; Bob Trout, and stepsons; Gary Schoenfelder, Mike Schoenfelder, and Greg Schoenfelder.

Arnie was active in the University of North Dakota Alumni Association. He was a 50-year member of Grand Forks Masonic Lodge, and a member of Rochester Elks and Rochester American Legion.

Arnie was a loving man known for his kindness, quick wit, and genuine interest in others. He enjoyed golfing, socializing, and traveling with his wife, spending winters in Harlingen, Texas, and summers at his home in Rochester and at his cabin in Bemidji. Arnie loved sweets, especially Hershey chocolate bars, and he always made sure to leave room for dessert.

Arnie’s family would like to thank Shorewood Memory Care and Seasons staff for the exceptional, loving care provided to Arnie.

The memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, June 23, 2023, in the River Park Chapel, Macken Funeral Home with Pastor Karen Foster officiating. A visitation will be held one hour prior to the service. Burial, with military honors, will be in Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery, Preston, Minn.

Memorial donations are preferred to be directed to Season’s Hospice.

Online condolences are welcome, and a livestream of the service will be available at