The Norman Transcript


October 31, 2013

Edwin Arthur Thompson



Following his service in Japan, his next foreign post was in Korea during that conflict. He had many stories of his time there, both during the conflict and in the time immediately after the end of hostilities when he served on the edge of the DMZ, where he could look over into North Korea. It was during this time that he became interested in photography and took and developed many pictures of the troops, the people and the landscape of the area where he served. He returned to the United States and served at various Army posts. As the Vietnam conflict began, he was sent into action again, serving three tours of duty there.

All the time he was advancing in rank, culminating in his promotion to the highest possible enlisted rank of sergeant major. After the end of his Vietnam service, he was stationed in Germany, where he finished his military carrier in 1975. He had found a second home in Germany because he had met the love of his life, Gerlinde Miess. They were married there, and he entered civilian life and worked at a financial services agency as a manager.

Over time, Ed and Gerlinde decided that they would like to relocate to Ed’s home state of Oklahoma, and they purchased a home in Norman. Here, Ed attended classes at the University of Oklahoma, where he earned a second college degree; Gerlinde also attended, earning a master’s degree in German, and then was accepted as part of the teaching faculty at OU. Ed continued to advance his education and studied for and received his license as a real estate agent, which he used over a number of years.

Ed and Gerlinde’s home was a great source of pride, and while their health allowed, they were avid gardeners with flowers, fruit trees and vegetables covering their yard. They traveled back to Germany to visit family often, and when their relatives would come here to visit, they seemed to particularly enjoy driving them around the western United States. Ed had made many acquaintances around the world in his military travels and he had found family members from as far away as England, and all of these he loved to correspond with over the years.

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