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Life Story / Obituary
With what should have been the best years still to come, Kimberly Thompson was taken from her numerous loved ones much too soon. She was a courageous and selfless woman whose heart beat to nurture and care for others. Life came full circle for Kim when she became a mother to the two sons who were her everything. She seemed to face one health struggle after another throughout much of her life, yet her outlook was always positive, her strength never wavering. Kiki leaves behind a gaping hole in the hearts of her friends and family, yet they find comfort in knowing that they have been forever changed for the better because of her love.
The 1980s were a decade to remember as the fabric of our culture was transforming before our eyes. Mini-vans, camcorders, and Atari became part of our vocabulary while Michael Jackson, Madonna, and Phil Collins became household names. President Ronald Reagan declared a war on drugs while the explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger brought our nation together to mourn. It was during this eventful time that a young couple from Grand Forks, North Dakota, welcomed a precious baby girl into their hearts and home through adoption. Kimberly Jo was born in Mountain Home, Idaho, on July 16, 1986, but came home to live with her parents, Mike and Judith (Carlson) Thompson, and was raised in North Dakota alongside her older sister, Jen, and her foster brothers as well. When she was about three Kiki, as her family affectionately called her, moved with her family to Portage, Michigan, where she would remain for the rest of her life.
In many ways Kiki experienced an upbringing that was reflective of the times. She and her siblings were students in the Portage school system. Kim’s earliest years in school found her at Waylee Elementary and later at Central Middle School. She went on to graduate from Portage Northern High School.
All who knew Kim would agree that she was put on this earth to be a caregiver. She especially had a heart for the elderly, and it was this compassion that made her such a good fit for her chosen line of work. For a time Kim worked for Comfort Keepers and over time earned her Medical Assistant Certificate from Ross Medical.
Soon after graduating, life became more difficult for Kiki and her loved ones as her health took some unexpected turns. She was plagued with one serious illness right after another, yet her strong, sometimes stubborn side allowed her to put up quite the fight against whatever threatened to overtake her. Kim’s determination allowed her to overcome anything debilitating and also put her at ease with herself.
Life was forever changed for Kim when she made the acquaintance of the man who would forever change the course of her life. His name was Damian Penny, and they became instant friends. Their friendship soon blossomed into a deep love, and they welcomed their first son, Dominik, into the world on December 20, 2010.
Shortly thereafter, Kiki went back to school and worked full-time at Comfort Keepers. Her main focus was her son, and it was amazing to see how being a mother seemed to be a role that was tailor made just for her. Kim was amazing and made it seem effortless to work full-time while keeping up with her studies and caring for her son as well. Ongoing health struggles continued to be an issue during this time, too. Just this past December Kim and Damian were blessed with the birth of their second son, Jace, on the 13th. It was only a few weeks later that she became so ill that she required a pacemaker. Kiki then spent several weeks in and out of the hospital, but her main priority remained being a mother to her sons. Although confined to the hospital or her home at times, she was able to keep up with her friends and loved ones through various social media outlets. Kim also loved playing cards, especially cribbage with her father. She kept busy watching old family movies as she was a bit nostalgic when it came time to thinking about her childhood. Kiki also enjoyed playing board games and gained inspiration from the numerous Chicken Soup for the Soul books that graced her home.
The things that made Kim such an extraordinary woman were numerous. She was such a sensitive person who had an intuitive soul that left her easily in tune with how others were feeling. Kiki was independent and fought hard to remain that way for as long as she could while staying focused on overcoming the struggles that came her way. She viewed her children as her greatest accomplishment, and her love for them was never-ending. Even after a severe health crisis a couple of weeks after receiving her pacemaker, Kim’s devotion to others remained intact.
Kimberly Thompson was a true gift given to those around her for such a short time in the overall picture of life. Her journey was full of trials, yet her world in her own home with her boys was simply perfect as far as she was concerned. Kim inspired all who knew her to fully embrace each moment while holding fast to their loved ones. Her passion for helping the elderly was exemplified in her work, her devotion to every task before her unmatched. Kim’s spirit of compassion, genuine concern for others, and unending love will remain alive in the boys she cherished more than life itself. She will be deeply missed while her memory remains forever near and dear to those too numerous to count.
Kimberly J. Thompson died on April 7, 2013, at Bronson Methodist Hospital. Kimberly is survived by her parents Judith (Charles) Robinson and Mike (Johanna) Thompson, her children Dominik & Jace Penny, her fiancé Damian Penny, her sister Jennifer (Chris Adams) McCann-Adams,her stepbrother Daron Beattie, stepsister Nyki (Bob) Gregg, her maternal grandparents James & Phyllis Carlson as well as many beloved aunts, uncles and cousins. Visit with her family Friday, April 12th from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Life Story Funeral Home, Portage; 5975 Lovers Lane (344-5600). Please view Kim’s memory page at www.lifestorynet.com where you can read her life story, archive a memory or photo and sign her memory book. Memorial donations may be made to the Kalamazoo Gospel Mission or the Salvation Army.