About the Thompsons
Roger R. Thompson was born in Berwick, Maine in 1908 and attended Berwick Academy and the University of New Hampshire from which he graduated with a BA in economics in 1929. He took his first job in the newspaper business right after graduation, joining the Curtis Publishing Group of Portland Maine in the circulation department of the Lewiston Sun-Journal. Moving to New Hampshire he worked in the circulation departments of the Manchester Union Leader and then was appointed head of circulation at the Manchester Sunday News. After a stint with the Bangor Commercial in Bangor, Maine and service in the Army during World War II, Roger joined the Portsmouth Herald on January 2, 1950 as circulation director.
In 1953, following the death of the Portsmouth Herald’s owner Justin Hartford and pursuant to his will, Hartford's widow named a Publishing Board of the paper’s top managers as co-owners. Carrying out his wish that the newspaper “be entrusted to those who had worked closest with him in shaping its present character,” the seven executives included Thompson, William Colwell, president/production manager; Richard Blalock, editor; J.R. Morrissey, advertising director; David Tober, business manager; Raymond Brighton, managing editor; and Azio Ferrini, mechanical superintendent. Roger served on that board from 1953 until his retirement on January 31, 1969.
He was a member and past president of the New England Association of Circulation Managers and the archives of the Herald are filled with stories about the annual trips Roger led with the newsboys. Each year twenty or more boys traveled to Boston on a chaperoned trip, usually for a Red Sox game at Fenway. Often this was the first trip a boy had made outside of Portsmouth.
On retirement Roger said he planned to be “devoting more time to his chief hobby, power boating.”
Theresa Electa Strout Thompson was born September 3, 1911 in Wales, Maine, the daughter of Frank Edward and Ethel (Libby) Strout. She attended school in Wales and graduated from Monmouth Academy in Monmouth, Maine.
In 1930, Theresa Strout went to work in Lewiston, Maine for the Lewiston Daily Sun and the Lewiston Evening Journal (now the Lewiston Sun-Journal). In 1972, she retired and married Roger R. Thompson of Kittery, Maine. The couple lived in Kittery until 1989 when they moved to Portsmouth. She died on September 25, 2000 at Portsmouth Regional Hospital.
While living in Lewiston, Theresa was active in the Lewiston United Baptist Church, the Lewiston-Auburn YWCA and Fidelity Rebekah Lodge of which she was a Past Noble Grand and Past District Deputy President. In Portsmouth she was a member of the Congregational Church (North Church).
The Thompsons had no children.