Cover photo for Beth Thompson MD's Obituary
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1951 Beth 2021

Beth Thompson MD

November 3, 1951 — May 20, 2021

Dr. Beth Elaine Thompson passed away May 20, 2021 in Missoula MT. She was born Nov 3, 1951 in Bozeman, MT to Robert and Joy Thompson.

Beth grew up on the family farm outside of Bozeman attending a one-room country school (Rae School) where she rode her horse Blondie to school through 8th grade, then Bozeman High for her first two years of high school. In her high school years she was an equine drill-team rider.

The family then moved to Caldwell, ID in 1967 where Beth finished high school. She attend the College of Idaho where she earned her undergraduate degree; her time there included a semester abroad in Australia which was a great adventure. Beth then went on the medical school at the University of Colorado where she became an MD in 1977. She completed her training in Internal Medicine also at University of Colorado in 1981 with an interest in Infectious Disease, then started her first practice in Butte, MT. She later moved to Missoula, MT where she practiced medicine in several locations including Western Montana Clinic, Blue Mountain Clinic, Community Medical Center, and her private practice before finishing her career as a founding Hospitalist at St. Patrick’s Hospital. She retired from medicine in 2015.

Dr. Thompson was the Medical Director of Blue Mountain Clinic from 1987 to 1990 and then brought her private practice into the clinic and was instrumental in keeping Blue Mountain Clinic going after the 1993 fire.
Dr. Thompson was the Medical Director for the Tibetan Resettlement Project which began in 1992. She also served on the Board of Medical Examiners for the State of Montana.

Beth treated her patients like family and cultivated many wonderful friendships through her years in Missoula. Beth believed strongly in the importance of true listening and close observation in every aspect of her life. She was a living encyclopedia of medical knowledge, loved to teach, and valued the important role of mentoring learners in medicine.

Beth loved the outdoors and spent many years hiking, skiing, winter-camping and exploring. She had a life-long love of horses and dogs, especially her horse Josie. In her later years she crocheted many beautiful gifts for family and friends.

She is survived by her sisters Catherine (James) Carr of Nampa, ID, Debra Thompson of Boise, ID, brothers Russell (Leslie) Thompson of Boise, ID, Ronald (Kim) Thompson of Prescott AZ, Aunt Lola Mae Simpson and many cousins, nieces, and nephews.

She is preceded in death by her parents, both sets of grandparents, numerous aunts and uncles, and her beloved canines Fred-dog and Brita.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made in Beth’s honor to the Five Valleys Land Trust, Blue Mountain Clinic, the Montana Natural History Center, or the Jeanette Rankin Peace Center.

The online obituary and guestbook are available at
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Beth Thompson MD, please visit our flower store.


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