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Terry J. Thompson, long career in public relations; Sept. 6, 1941 -- Sep. 29, 2011

Terry J. Thompson, who served as the first director of public relations for Fisher-Price Toys, died Sept. 29 in Minneapolis, Minn. He was 70.

Born in Buffalo, Mr. Thompson was raised in Snyder. He attended Christ the King Grammar School and St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute. An honors graduate of Colgate University, he received his master's degree in communications from Syracuse University. He attended Harvard Business School's management program.

At Fisher-Price from 1972 to 1979, Mr. Thompson supervised internal and external communications and executed a public relations strategy for the toy company's entry into European markets. Previously he served as information officer for Buffalo Public Schools, serving then Superintendent Joseph E. Manch.

After leaving Buffalo, Mr. Thompson had more than 25 years experience working for Quaker Oats, General Mills and Pillsbury. In 1999, Mr. Thompson received his MFA in creative writing from Hamline University, St. Paul, Minn.

In retirement, he wrote for regional and national publications, and taught in the graduate school of the business college, University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis.

Mr. Thompson was a dedicated community volunteer, serving the Buffalo Chapter of the Red Cross for many years. In Minneapolis, he was board chairman of The Loft, the nation's largest literary organization; president of the Minnesota News Council; and chairman of the advisers group for Project for Pride in Living, one of Minnesota's most successful organizations that helps poor people become more self-sufficient.

He is survived by his wife of 32 years, Lynne; a daughter, Kristin Thompson Mannoni; a brother, Michael; and a sister, Sheila Guenther.

A private service was held Oct. 22, in Minneapolis.


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