Memorable Manitobans: John William McLeod Thompson (1908-1986)
Lawyer, MLA (1953-1957), MLA (1958-1959), MLA (1959-1962), judge.
Born at Elkhorn on 18 July 1908, son of Wellington John Thompson and Mary Ashley McLeod (1866-1947), he was educated at Elkhorn public schools, Brandon College, and the University of Manitoba (BA, LLB). He established a private law practice at Elkhorn, operating it continuously until 1958 except for three years service (1942-1945) in the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War. He was made a Queen’s Counsel (1960).
On 7 July 1942, he married Lorraine Marlene Dutton (1921-2022, daughter of William and Dolly Dutton of Virden) and they had four children: Mary Marlene Thompson (wife of Alvars Pone and Tony Bogert), Dorothy Agnes Thompson (wife of Bill Willson), John William Thompson, and Laurie Ann Thompson. He served as a Municipal Councillor (1933-1939), School Trustee (1945-1947), and Mayor of Elkhorn (1947-1953).
After running unsuccesfully in the 1940 federal election, he was elected to the Manitoba Legislature in the 1953 general election, and was re-elected in 1958 and 1959. He held ministerial portfolios of Municipal Affairs (1958-1959), Labour (1958-1959), and Public Works (1959-1962). He resigned in October 1962 when he was appointed a County Court judge in the Southern and Eastern Judicial Districts, based at Morden. He served as President of the Canadian Good Roads Association and was a Life Member of the Roads and Transportation Association of Canada, Royal Canadian Legion, and Progressive Conservative Party.
He died at Winnipeg on 15 December 1986 and was buried in the Elkhorn Cemetery.
The Canadian Parliamentary Guide, 1956.
“Pone – Thompson,” Winnipeg Free Press, 3 December 1964, page 31.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 17 December 1986, page 56.
Obituary [Lorraine Marlene Thompson], Winnipeg Free Press, 28 May 2022.
Members of the Legislative Assembly (deceased), Legislative Assembly of Manitoba.
Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.
We thank Brent Mitchell for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 18 November 2022