AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy - A memorial service will be held at 6 p.m. Friday in Villa Policreti at the Castello d’Aviano golf course for Daniel Thompson, a retired teacher who died Sunday.
Thompson, 62, had taught in the Department of Defense Dependents Schools System for 24 years before retiring in 2007. He worked in Bonn and Baumholder in Germany before finishing his teaching career at Lajes Field in the Azores, according to Kristine Kessler, a family friend and counselor at Aviano Elementary School. Thompson’s wife, Louise Denham, is a fifth-grade teacher at the school.
Thompson died Sunday while on a bicycle trip up the mountainous road that connects Aviano to Piancavallo. Italian authorities have not officially released the cause of his death, but he appeared to have suffered a heart attack, Kessler said. Spectators gathered to watch the Giro di Italia race pass through attempted in vain to revive him.
Thompson was born in Canada and later moved to Minnesota. Fluent in German, he taught in Austrian schools before joining the DODDS system. In addition to his wife, he is survived by a sister, Jackie Thompson, two uncles, a niece and a nephew, according to Kessler. A memorial fund has been established in his name at www.pancreatic.org.