Cover photo for Barbara J Thompson's Obituary
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1949 Barbara 2023

Barbara J Thompson

June 22, 1949 — July 29, 2023

New Richland

Barbara Jean Thompson, 74, of New Richland, MN passed away on July 29, 2023 at the New Richland Care Center surrounded by her loving family.

Barb was born in on June 22, 1949 to Dale and Evelyn Smith in Waseca, MN.  She attended and graduated from New Richland-Hartland School in 1967.  Following her graduation, she attended Minneapolis Vocational Chef School and studied Culinary Arts.

In the summer of 1967, she met Larry Thompson and they fell in love over a burger and fries on their first date to the A & W Root Beer Stand in New Richland.  A few months later, Larry proposed via a letter he’d sent to Barb while serving with the US Marines; they were wed on October 26, 1968 at the United Church of Christ in New Richland, MN.  Barb and Larry moved to Albert Lea for a short time before settling down in New Richland to raise their family.

Barb was a wonderful cook and started her career at various places before co-owning Sweets LTD Café with Linda Timmerman in New Richland, MN in 1985.  During the holidays she would bake a variety of cookies for her family to enjoy, passing this tradition down to her daughter, Adrienne.  A Christmas meal was never complete without her delicious oyster stew; even though she didn’t like it and perfecting lefse during the holidays, although she was not German.  When they welcomed their adopted son, Loc into their family, Barb learned how to make Vietnamese meals for their family; she knew her way around the kitchen! 

Her family was her pride and joy; she loved unconditionally and loved everyone with an “open heart”.  Her children were her everything and she was always there to support them at their sporting events and even counting laps at the dirt track.  She was especially proud of her role as grandma where she was able to spoil her grandchildren any chance she could get; there were very few rules while visiting Grandma and Grandpa’s house and nothing she wouldn’t do for them.  Saturdays were reserved for family, enjoying dinner and crafts.

As a master gardener, Barb loved to grow glorious gardens at her home; even creating a garden shaped as Vietnam in honor of her son’s heritage.  When she moved to the New Richland Care Center, she took pride in creating a space that donned a huge variety of colored flowers in the courtyard; with the assistance of her family. 

After the sale of the café in 1998, Barb began working at the NRHEG school as a paraprofessional where she could share her love for reading and caring for those around her.  When her multiple sclerosis prohibited her from working at the school, she continued her community involvement by visiting and reading to the residents at the Care Center; a place that she called home for the past 13 years.  She also enjoyed music and played piano with only a few lessons under her belt.  Barb found the good in everything she was surrounded by and everyone she met.  Her bright smile, conversations, and loving heart will be missed by all those who loved her.

Left to cherish her memory are her husband, Larry, of 54 years; children, Loc (Dung) Nguyen, Mitch (Stacy) Thompson, and Adrienne (Andre) Sloan; grandchildren, Ashley, Andrew, and Amanda Nguyen, Zachary Tobin, Hunter and Zoie Thompson, Hailey (Katie) Bennett, Stasia (Jonathon) Griffith, and Jordan, Isaiah, and Joelle Sloan; great grandchildren, Autumn, Aeden, Averey, and Newveah; sisters, Julie (Dan) Economy and Diane Smith; along with many nieces and nephews.

Barb was preceded in death by her parents.

Barb’s family will host a memorial service at 2:00 PM on Wednesday, August 2, 2023 at Trinity Lutheran Church in New Richland, MN; Pastor Mary Iverson will officiate.  Barb’s family will greet guests at a visitation two hours prior to the service at the church.  Interment will be at St Peter’s Cemetery, New Richland, MN. 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Barbara J Thompson, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, August 2, 2023

12:00 - 2:00 pm (Central time)

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Memorial Service

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

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