Samuel Oliver Thompson, 86, died unexpectedly on April 23, 2021 at St. Luke's Meridian Medical Center. He was born on March 12, 1935 in Malta Idaho, the son of John Henry and Lora (Harmon) Thompson.
Sam graduated from Raft River High School, class of 1953. He studied music education and performance at Brigham Young University. He met his wife at BYU in the Madrigal Singers ay BYU and they were married in August 1956. After graduating in 1957, he taught high school vocal music in Riverside and Claremont California and later settled in Boise, Idaho.
Sam won wide acclaim for his lyric-dramatic tenor voice, performing in operas, oratories and concerts throughout the Unites States, Canada, Mexico, and Europe. He was a regional Metropolitan Opera Auditions winner twice and has performed in 17 different leading operatic roles as well as a soloist with the Tabernacle Choir on a national broadcast of Music and the Spoken Word. While singing in Germany, he was heralded as “The American tenor with the ringing voice”. Sam was one of the original incorporator of the Boise Opera, Inc now known as Idaho Opera and his credits include the tenor lead in nearly every opera production. He turned down contracts to sing with the Mexico City Opera and the New York City Center Opera Company because it would take too much time away from his family.
He was invited to perform for both Presidents Reagan and Bush when they made separate visits to Boise. He organized several choirs, including conducting a 300 voice youth choir that provided all the music for the 1972 June General Conference in Salt Lake City. In 1976 he conducted an LDS 400-voice adult choir that performed in Bronco Stadium for the Bicentennial Celebration. Locally he performed with the Boise Philharmonic in such works as Verdi’s “Requiem”, Beethoven’s “Ninth Symphony”, Mendelssohn’s “Elijah”, and Handel’s “Messiah”. He loved to produce musicals and organized shows in the local area such as Oklahoma and Promised Valley along with The Sound of Music and The Most Happy Fella for Boise Music week. In addition to his music career he was a land developer and builder in the Boise area for 50 years.
He was active in church serving in many callings such as Bishop of the Boise 11th Ward, in the Boise North Stake Presidency and as president of the Oklahoma-Tulsa mission from 1986 to 1989.
In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by sisters Janie, Dorothy, and Caroline and brothers John, Joseph and Robert. Surviving in addition to his wife Ann (Peterson) Thompson are his son Kenneth Samuel Thompson and his wife Melanie Watts Thompson of Spokane Valley WA, his son Loys Jay Thompson and his wife Deanene V. (Christensen) Thompson, his daughter Kirsten Ann Naylor and her husband Bart Lynn Naylor, and his son Jeffery Daren Thompson and his Wife Jennifer (Grajewski) Thompson all of Meridian Idaho. He had 15 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren. Sam and Ann celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary last august.
His funeral service will be held 11 AM Thursday April 29 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Meridian Idaho North Stake Center located at 5555 North Locust Grove Rd.
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