Marilee Jo Thompson

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    - David Aamodt
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  • "Missing a very SPECIAL aunt who we love very much! Thoughts..."
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July 8, 1950 ~ March 21, 2011

Marilee Jo Thompson passed away peacefully at home in Camas, Washington on March 21, 2011. She was the daughter of Ted and Anna Herbranson, was born July 8, 1950 in Moorhead, Minnesota. She spent her first two years living in Rollag, Minnesota and then the remaining years of her childhood on the farm her parents had purchased in 1952.
She was baptized and confirmed in Rollag Lutheran Church and was active in the Luther League youth organization. She attended school in Barnesville, Minnesota and graduated from Barnesville High School in 1968. She was an honor student throughout her school years and was a member of the National Honor Society. She also was a member of the school band and numerous extracurricular activities, including student council. She was an active member of 4-H as a girl growing up on the farm.
After graduation from Barnesville High School in 1968 she attended Interstate Business College and received her degree in 1970. She was recognized again for her excellent scholarly work with a coveted award. Upon graduation she worked for Blue Cross in Fargo, North Dakota.
In 1968 she married Robert Thompson, Jr. of Baker, Minnesota, at Rollag Lutheran Church and they had one daughter, Cheri R., born in 1970. After they were married they lived in the rural Baker area and later moved to Moorhead, Minnesota.
In 1975, Marilee moved to Portland, Oregon. She and her current husband Rick Bowler, had a real estate development business, Port Real Estate founded in 1971 in Portland and One Pacific Corporation, in which she was the President of the corporations, Executive Board Member and stockholder. She worked in all phases of the real estate acquisition and development business doing acquisitions, entitlements, planning, engineering and marketing. She understood it better than most people could. Her direction was always conservative and firmly stated. Marilee was the one in their companies who was always more pragmatic and visionary than all the rest in the family businesses. She was the glue that bonded everyone together and was a subtle but effective leader. She was very intelligent, quick minded, fabulous smile, always gracious and mostly right (good sense of humor, too!). Many families in Clark County are living in homes and neighborhoods that were developed due to Marilee's hard work and determination, including Westridge Place in east Clark County.
Marilee was a very private person and very sensitive. She was not inclined to seek publicity in the business or in the decades she spent working for a lot of our local charities, which included Sertoma, Children's Home Society, The Community Housing Center and Innovative Services. She has held many Board and Officer, positions, due to her pragmatic approach. She was passionate to help children and those not as fortunate in life. She made a difference for many people Clark County who never knew her. She was a great philanthropist.
Marilee will be remembered for her kind heart, easy smile, ability to put everyone at ease and her compassion to make the world a better place. She was a friend to everyone she knew. She enjoyed traveling with family and friends especially to Hawaii, Europe, Canada and returning home to Minnesota to visit the Minnesota Stream Thrashers Reunion. Gardening was another passion of hers. In the summer, she was in her garden which she tended with care. At the end of the day, you could find her relaxing with friends and a glass of wine and a warm smile on her face.
She was preceded in death by her father, Ted Herbranson; and her granddaughter, Zoie Anna Marie English.
She is survived by her husband, Rick Bowler; daughter, Cheri English; son-in-law, David English; and four grandsons, James and Hunter Styres, and Jeffrey and Jacob Bowler. Marilee is also survived by her mother, Anna Herbranson; her brothers, Dennis (Kris) and David (Joanne) Herbranson and their families. Additionally, she is survived by her step-sons, Scott and Jeff (Christina) Bowler. She also has a large extended family in Minnesota.
Services for Marilee will be 12 p.m. on March 26th at The Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church, 12512 SE Mill Plain Road, Vancouver, WA. Funeral arrangements are being made by Straub Funeral Home, Camas, WA. She will be buried in the Camas Cemetery next to her granddaughter in a private ceremony. A public celebration of Marilee's life will be 1 p.m., April 9th, at her home in Camas.
To send condolences or to sign the online guest book please visit or
In lieu of flowers, a donation in her honor to the Evergreen School Foundation would be appreciated.
Our world is brighter because of Marilee. Marilee will be forever loved and missed by her family and friends.


Published in The Columbian on Mar. 24, 2011
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