Melvin  Thompson

Obituary of Melvin John Thompson



Melvin John Thompson, beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend, passed away on June 9 at age 90 following a prolonged battle with Alzheimer's disease.  A native of Ravenna, Michigan, Mel was a long-time resident of Bethesda, Maryland. 


Melvin served for more than 20 years as the Director of International Programs for the National 4-H Council where he promoted peace through understanding and broad engagement among youth around the world.  During his career he mentored and encouraged thousands of international program participants to forge stronger ties between their countries.  


Prior to his work with 4-H, Melvin worked with the U.S. Peace Corps staff and served as the Peace Corps Director for West Africa in Ibadan, Nigeria from 1964-66. Melvin also served as an extension agent at Michigan State University.  He was a veteran of the U.S. Army.  


A graduate of Ravenna High School, Melvin also held a Bachelor of Arts degree from Michigan State University and a Master of Arts from the American University in Washington, D.C.   



Melvin was extensively involved in service, particularly through the Missions Commission (now the Social Action and Outreach Committee) of North Bethesda United Methodist Church in Bethesda, Maryland and the Washington Pastoral Counseling Service.  He was inducted into the Michigan State University Emerald Clover Society for his contributions to the university and society.  He was also inducted into the National 4-H Council Hall of Fame in 2012.


Family was of the utmost importance to Melvin.  He was married to Linda Faye Thompson for 60 years.  He is survived by his wife, Linda, their children Dean (Jane) Thompson and Dawn (Nathan) Krawczyk, grandchildren Marshall (Hannah) Bierson, Kendall Thompson, Grace Thompson, Jimmy Krawczyk, Chloe Krawczyk, and Rodger Krawczyk, and Great grandson Garrison Bierson.  He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Joyce Thompson.  He is survived by his sister, Ethelyn Anderson, and brothers, Maynard, Gaylord, Mark and Horace Thompson. 


In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made, in memory of Mel, to Alzheimer's Association, 225 N. Michigan Ave., Fl. 17, Chicago, IL 60601 or North Bethesda United Methodist Church, 10100 Old Georgetown Road, Bethesda,  MD 20814.


Visitation and a Memorial Service will be held on June 29, 2023. 

North Bethesda United Methodist Church 

10100 Old Georgetown Road

Bethesda, Maryland 20814


Visitation will be from 1:00-2:00 pm

Memorial Service will be at 2:00 pm

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A Memorial Tree was planted for Melvin
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Rapp Funeral and Cremation Services
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