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Gale M. Thompson, 88, passed away peacefully at Mid-Michigan Medical Center on June 11, 2021. Gale was born in Bradford Woods, PA on December 20, 1932.

Gale moved to Michigan where she raised her children, Tom, Chris, and Amy. She volunteered at the Midland Center for the Arts and Boy Scouts when the kids were young. Later, she went to school at Delta College and the University of Michigan, where she earned a master’s degree in Native American Anthropology. She was a teacher throughout her life, often volunteering to teach Native American culture and spirituality in many different settings.

After Michigan, Gale lived for years in California and Florida before moving back to Michigan. Gale was gregarious and could talk to anyone for hours on end, including her friends and family around the country. She had many jobs over her lifetime, including several years designing t-shirts based on Native American art while in CA and recruiting people for focus groups in FL by chatting with them on the phone, a job that seemed custom-made for her.  She was a free spirit who certainly lived life on her own terms.

Gale is survived by her children, two siblings (Mitch and Kathie), numerous nieces, nephews and grandchildren. The family will have a Celebration of Life for Gale later this summer.

Smith-Miner Funeral Home is honored to be serving the Thompson family. To share a special memory please visit www.smithminer.com.

Condolence Messages

  1. James N Veneklasen

    02 July 2021 3 weeks ago

    I love you Gale. Always have since the first time we spent time on the Island together. I am much more of a free spirit because of you. The quote by Soren Kierkegaard comes to mind….” Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be LIVED forwards”. You took the last half of your life BY the reigns .I absolutely cannot view or even think of the Northern Lights without thinking of you .As I lay on the beach, trying to sleep because I had to depart the island early, you continually woke me up exclaiming “James! You can’t miss this one!”
    Hugs and Kisses from below to above. James

  2. Heather ODea

    30 June 2021 3 weeks ago

    I’m so sorry to hear about Gale. I know her from her return to Michigan. She was a fascinating lady! We have matching cardinal statues, and I think of her whenever I look at mine.

  3. Deana Cannella

    26 June 2021 4 weeks ago

    I met Gale in 2006 while working together at Plaza Research in Tampa, Florida. Gale would arrive every morning with positive energy and a warm smile that touched all those around her. She was always excited to meet different people and share stories about all the many subjects she enjoyed, places she had traveled, and adventures she had experienced. Gale had extensive knowledge in various topics; from history and movies to authors, poets, music, alternative healing, travel, and much more. She was extremely charismatic and kind. She had a soothing, pleasant voice that made all those around her stop and listen. Gale has been my dearest best friend for over 15 years and she has always been inspirational, supportive, and comforting. Throughout her journeys, Gale had many wonderful accomplishments and amazing experiences, and connected with so many people that crossed her path. She touched many lives with her gifted spirit, compassion, and generosity. She had a passion for life and always led with a positive attitude and grateful heart. She lived by the highest of standards with loyalty, honesty, and integrity. She always honored our friendship. We had a unique connection, both of us having a special “Tillie” in our lives. I will always remember the meaningful stories she shared, the many laughs we had during all of our late night calls into the early mornings, and her wonderful words of wisdom. Gale was truly one of a kind. I miss her each day. My heartfelt thoughts are with all of her friends and family. 

  4. Dayna Pupanek

    25 June 2021 4 weeks ago

    I had the absolute pleasure of knowing Miss Gayle from working with her in Tampa, FL at Plaza Research. I’ll always remember her as infectious, spunky, and full of knowledge! She was always someone who put a smile on my face anytime I was stressed. I loved sharing stories about her family and allowing her to teach me more about Native Americans and herbalism. She will always be in my heart and in my mind. Sending my warmest condolences to the family and friends she left behind. You all were her pride and joy.

  5. Jan Kehoe

    24 June 2021 1 month ago

    I worked with Miss Gayle in Florida at the research company. We had pot luck lunches and she would always bring in something that no one had ever had before! She loved to tell stories of when her kids were growing up. She was also our essential oil and vitamin expert! Everyone loved Gayle and she always had a smile on her face. She was in my thoughts often. I send my blessings and condolences to her family and friends in Ca and MI as she spoke of you all often!

  6. Glenn Schiffman

    20 June 2021 1 month ago

    I knew Gale during her years in California. We sat up in many American Indian community ceremonies together. She was/is an old soul full of festiveness, but more than that; she was someone who did not add to the confusion on this planet.

  7. Linda Z Smith

    19 June 2021 1 month ago

    I was fortunate to work and play with Gayle during her years in Michigan. She had wonderful stories and experiences to share. I will miss her.
    LOVE to all her family and friends.

  8. julie prince

    19 June 2021 1 month ago

    Will miss Gale and her stories (her long long stories) so much. She had a big heart, a loving listening ear, a magical sense of humor and a sense of adventure. Her warm touch and bright spirit will linger with me. Love and sympathy to you all, may your memories bring you comfort and solace in the days ahead. Julie

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