Dedicated family man, longtime firefighter, international magnetic levitation expert
Marc Thompson. (Courtesy photo)
Marc Thomas Thompson, 54, of Harvard passed away suddenly Nov. 7, 2017.
Marc was born on the island of Vinalhaven, Maine, in the kitchen of his uncle’s home. He was a loving husband and father who was a dedicated family man. He graduated at the top of his class from Vinalhaven High School. He went on to receive a B.S., M.S.B.E., and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he developed many lifelong friends. One of his favorite stories was how, as a freshman, he had been placed on disciplinary probation at MIT for having a water balloon fight in a prominent professor’s classroom.
Marc was self-employed at Thompson Consulting Inc. and was an international expert on magnetic levitation. He worked around the world on maglev trains, high-speed trains that run on magnetic repulsion. He also worked on creating safe maglev braking systems for roller coasters and other high-speed rides at Universal Park and Hersheypark. Previously Marc worked at Polaroid on laser power electronics. He taught at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and the University of Wisconsin. He authored many technical textbooks, holds a number of patents, and wrote industry articles that advanced the field of magnetic levitation. He was also a renowned power electronics engineer. One of his greatest joys was discussing math and science with his daughter, Sophie.
A man of extraordinary integrity, Marc was often sought out to be an expert witness. He took on only cases in which he firmly believed in the outcome and was always careful not to have his words taken out of context. He was committed to the truth and technical accuracy.
He is survived by his wife of 17 years, Lisa Rosen; his beloved daughter, Sophie; his brother, Michael; his sister-in-law, Meredith; and his niece, Lila Thompson. He was predeceased by his son, Noah Thompson, and his parents, Minnie Ann Thompson and Dean Thompson.
He was a longtime volunteer firefighter with the Harvard Fire Department, an activity he loved. He also volunteered at the Bromfield Science Fair every year. He enjoyed local honey and Harvard-made cider.
A service will be held at the Harvard Unitarian Universalist Church, Sunday, Nov. 12, at 1:30 p.m., followed by burial at Bellevue Cemetery, and a reception in the Fellowship Building on Elm Street at 3 p.m.
Donations in Marc’s memory can be made to the Harvard Fire Department, 13 Ayer Road, Harvard, MA 01451 or to the Noah Thompson Memorial Fund for community causes dear to Marc. Noah Thompson Memorial Fund donations should be mailed to Rollstone Bank, 283 Ayer Road, Harvard, MA 01451