Richard Thompson

29-Oct-1939 - 30-Dec-2019

Obituary Overview

In Loving Memory

Richard (Rick) Ernest Thompson, 80, of Oshawa, passed away from complications of esophageal cancer and Lewy Body dementia at Lakeridge Health Oshawa on December 30, 2019, with his daughter Suzanne by his side. Richard is survived by his wife of 54 years, Dorothy (nee Scovell), daughter Suzanne (Tom), son Christopher, brothers Norman and John, and grandchildren Collin and Cameron.

Richard came to Canada via England in 1954 with his parents and brothers at the age of 13. He landed a job as a stagehand at the CBC eventually becoming Associate Producer, working behind the scenes on major CBC drama and variety shows. He worked with Shania Twain, Celine Dion and Bob Dylan at the beginning of their careers, and with composer Igor Stravinsky at the end of his. With the director Norman Campbell he did countless operas and ballets with international dancers such as Rudloph Nureyev, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Karen Kain and Veronica Tennant. He worked on “Bethune” with Donald Sutherland, and “The Last Spike” by Pierre Burton, and many more productions including The National Dream, The King of Kensington, The Sleeping Beauty (1973 Emmy award winner) and Fraggle Rock, as well as live events including The Pope’s Visit, the Juno Awards, and the singular privilege of cueing the Queen during a CBC Royal TV broadcast.

Richard met his wife in Yorkville in the early 60’s, where they were a part of the coffee shop beatnik scene in Toronto. Richard was an “all in” kind of person, whether it was cross country skiing, camping or computers. He would research his subject, and make sure that everything was covered, from the perfect wax for his skiis, to the latest camping stove, or personal computer or device, embracing the internet from the outset – remember Zork? He volunteered as a Boy Scout leader (Baloo), and regularly took his family on cross country trips, camping from coast to coast to coast. Richard and Dorothy also travelled to Peru, hiking to Machu Pitchu and camping on the Amazon River, Spain, England, and epic family trips to Egypt and Italy, quenching his curiosity and wanderlust.

Richard retired in 1997 from the CBC, and shortly thereafter they moved to their dream home in Lindsay, ON, where he and Dorothy became members of Queen Street United Church, serving on many committees, and were active members of the Lindsay community. Richard was a voracious reader and collector, amassing a library of well over 3,000 books on topics ranging from Canadian classic fiction, to bird watching, mystery, Japanese Kimonos and poetry. He loved the outdoors, camping in Arrowhead Provincial Park, and gardening, creating a peaceful bamboo garden in his backyard. He also greatly enjoyed music, with his eclectic tastes ranging from classical string quartets, to heavy slide guitar blues.

A very special thank you to his caregivers at Hillsdale Estates where he resided for the last 2 years. Your support was immeasurable.

Richard will be laid to rest at a private family interment at Highland Memory Gardens on January 11, 2020.
There will be a Celebration of Life held in Oshawa at a date to be determined. Please sign the guestbook if you are interested in attending. Event details will be posted on this memorial page in March.

Condolences from family and friends

Posted by Mike Scovell | 22-Mar-2020

Gone too soon! You will be sadly missed, my coolest uncle. It was too short, your time on earth. My heart goes out to your family.

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Posted by Paula Neilson | 02-Feb-2020

The first time I ever saw Rick was in Studio 7 on Mutual Street. He was working with Norman Campbell on a ballet. It was before I became an Associate Director, and I was there observing the production. At the time, I was amazed at how good he was with everyone – the talent, the studio crew, the technicians and the control room production team. Rick was a consummate professional, totally in command. He was energetic and his humour was infectious. It was no surprise that Rick was in demand and worked all the “big shows”. His talents were well known and he was respected by all his colleagues. During this sad time, I hope that his family may find peace and comfort.

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