Melvin “Clark” Thompson, 81, passed away peacefully on September 23, 2022.
Clark was born on May 5, 1941 in San Diego, California. Growing up he loved surfing, skiing, hiking, camping, tinkering with machines and electronics, and running track. His senior year in high school, he had the honor of carrying the Olympic torch during the Torch Relay of the 1960 Winter Olympic Games in California. He had very fond memories of working summers on a family farm in Colorado growing up. After high school, Clark served his country in the Army while being stationed in the Panama Canal Zone. In 1977 he moved to Los Alamos, where he met his wife Lulu, started his family, and stayed for the remainder of his life. Clark and Lulu had a very special love and created an amazing life together. While they enjoyed many adventures together, they loved spending time with and spoiling their children and grandchildren the most. Clark worked at LANL for 30 years as an Electrical Engineer. Post retirement, he continued his work at Chevron’s “Area 52” in Santa Fe. Anyone who knew Clark, knew he had a deep love of cars and a need for speed. He was involved in various car clubs over his many decades of AutoCross racing in Colorado, Utah and New Mexico, and would regularly be seen racing “Old Blue” and “New Blue” on the track. Clark was also a longtime crew member of the World’s Fastest Propeller Driven Airplane, named the Rare Bear, for many years. These hobbies, which he loved with a passion, brought so much joy and excitement to his life. Clark was also an avid HAM Radio Operator since childhood and enjoyed communicating with other Operators from around the world throughout his entire life. Once officially retired, Clark and Lulu loved to socialize for hours and enjoyed having a cup of coffee with their friends at Ruby K’s Bagel Cafe.
Clark passed away in the comfort of his home after fighting a difficult battle with cancer over the past two years. He was surrounded by his loving wife and family who took care of him, and held his hand till the very end. He loved them all so much, and he made it a point to show each of them how much they meant to him before he passed. Many of Clark’s family and friends, as well as the wonderful nurses and doctors that cared for him at LAMC stepped in to help make the last month of Clark's life very special. Everyone who had the privilege to witness Clark during his illness will remember him as the one in the room with the biggest smile, the one who wanted to make sure that everyone around him was okay, the one who took the challenges that life had given him in the end and taught us to find the positive in every situation. With Clark’s passing he leaves behind a beautiful legacy of being the most amazing and loving Husband, Father, Grandpa, Brother, Uncle, and Cousin to his large family and a precious friend to so many. He will be missed beyond words.
Clark was preceded in death by his Father and Mother, Melvin and Nell Thompson, his sister Carol LaDelfe, his father and mother in law Willie and Elvira Montoya, his son Dean Salazar, and his grandson Anthony Salazar. Clark is survived by his beloved wife of 43 years Lulu Thompson, his daughters Doreen (Wayne) Archuleta, and Krystal (Jake) Sena, his stepson David (Gina) Salazar, his grandchildren Willie Salazar, Rachaud Archuleta, Josh Archuleta, Jaxson Sena, and Sariah Sena, step grandchildren Theresa, Antonia, and D’Andre Salazar, his brother Rick (Cathy) Thompson, his brothers in law Ernie (Melanie) Montoya and Peter LaDelfe, his sisters in law Lita (Derek) Matthews, Yolanda (Pruit) Ginsberg, Rachael Montoya, Madden (Edward) Espinosa, and Edith (Mark) Sanchez, and all of their family members, including many nieces, nephews, cousins, extended family, chosen family and loved by countless friends.
Clark’s Memorial Service will be held at the United Church of Los Alamos at 10am on October 29th followed by a burial at Guaje Pines Cemetery and a Celebration of Life at the Blue Window Bistro. In lieu of flowers, the family would be honored instead for donations to be made to The American Cancer Society in Clark’s name, or for you to sign up as a Blood Donor with your local blood bank.
The family of Melvin "Clark" Thompson has entrusted their loved one to DeVargas Funeral Home & Crematory of the beautiful Espanola Valley. www.devargasfuneral.com 505.747.7477