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RV executive dies of cancer

Mon, 16 Nov 2009 00:00:00 -0800

Wade F. B. Thompson, one the founders of Thor Industries, a top manufacturer of recreational vehicles, died on Nov. 12 after a 14-year fight with cancer. He was 69.

Thompson founded Thor in 1980 with Peter Orthwein by acquiring Airstream. The new company went public in 1984 and has been consistently profitable while producing some of the most recognizable RVs in the world. Its brands include Four Winds and Dutchmen, and Thor also produces commercial buses.

Thompson was chairman, CEO and president of Thor. Orthwein, 64, took over day-to-day responsibilities on Nov. 10, the company said.

Thompson had five cancers, according to a press release, and was active in the fight against the disease. He founded the Drive Against Prostate Cancer in 2000; using two Airstream mobile medical vehicles, it has given 101,000 free prostate exams.

Thompson is survived by his wife, Angela, two children and six grandchildren.

By Greg Migliore