Donald Edwin Thompson

Donald E. Thompson, 75, died peacefully Monday, Sept. 24, 2018, surrounded by family. He was the beloved husband of Alice (Mayer), whom he married in 1965, the father of Darin (Julie Juergens) and Amanda (Eric Fisher), and the grandfather of Elias Samuel. Born Dec. 19, 1942 in Pottsville, Pa., he was the son of the late Carroll F. and Elizabeth W. (Betty) Thompson. Donald graduated from Spring Grove High School, Spring Grove, Pa., where he excelled at soccer, basketball, volleyball, baseball, and band. He earned a BA in physics from Gettysburg College before studying at Penn State University, where he earned a BS in aerospace engineering, an MS in engineering mechanics and a PhD in aerospace engineering. Donald spent 30 years at the Applied Research Laboratory at Penn State, working on the acoustics and fluid dynamics of naval vessels. He retired emeritus as the Head of the Hydro and Structural Acoustics Department. He spent the following six and a half years with the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics, reporting directly to the Vice President for Research and Development. While there, he conducted research on electric drives for submarines and surface ships, silencing, and advanced materials. He later worked for Anteon/Alion, where he conducted research and development on a broad range of Navy-related acoustic and hydrodynamic issues and retired as the Head of the Acoustics Department. He finished his career with Cardinal Engineering, where he worked for two years and retired as a consultant to the Navy, Energy Department and industry on a broad range of issues. Outside of work, his avocations included stock market investing, gardening and physical fitness. In addition to his wife and children, Donald is survived by a sister, Carolyn E. Thompson, and many in-laws, cousins, nieces and nephews. A brother, P. Rodney Thompson, preceded him in death. Family visitation will be held from 1-4 p.m. on Sat., Oct. 20 at Toftrees Golf Resort, 1 Country Club Lane, State College, Pa. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Donald's memory may be made to the charity of your choice. Arrangements are under the care of Koch Funeral home, State College. Online condolences and signing of the guest book may be entered at