Ann Thompson was born in Cottage Grove, MN, August 15, 1923, daughter of Alma and Norris Thompson. Raised in Minnesota on a dairy farm, she graduated from the University of Minnesota, the St Paul campus, with a degree in Dietetics. She completed her Registered Dietitian internship in Detroit.
While at the ‘U’ campus she met Roger Drinkwalter, a dairy industry major. He was called to World War II duty, enlisted in the US Army Air Corp and trained in Santa Ana, CA, as a B-17 pilot. During the training, he told his sweetheart Ann, if he got out of the war alive, they would move to California where there was no snow on the ground during the winter!
His plane was shot down (all escaped alive), he was a POW, he was liberated at the end of the war and made it home to Minnesota where he finished his degree. They married on a blustery spring day, March 29, 1947 and drove out to California in a brand new car. Roger had a job set up in San Francisco and Ann found a dietitian job at a Kaiser hospital very soon. Their two daughters, Julie and Jane, were born in San Francisco. Roger was promoted and transferred several times and with each move to San Bruno, Fort Bragg, San Luis Obispo and eventually San Diego. Ann always found a position as a hospital dietitian. She retired as a dietitian in San Diego after years at the Hebrew Home for the Aged and Villa View Hospital. Ann lived in San Diego since 1965.
While pursuing her career as a hospital dietitian, she was a Brownie and Girl Scout leader, drove the girls to countless piano and swimming lessons, and all that goes with school age children. Once the girls were off to college, she played golf, traveled to nearly 100 countries and found P.E.O. and AAUW (American Association of University Women). In 1994 she joined the La Mesa-El Cajon branch of AAUW and was the President from 2001-2002. Ann socialized with the group, she played bridge, and loved the women, their mission, and the group activities.
Ann and Roger were married 67 years until his death in 2014 of Alzheimer’s Disease. She was preceded in death by her sister Marion Davnie and brother Peter Thompson, grandsons Matthew and Brice Ritter and son in law Dennis Ritter.
She is survived by daughters Julie Ritter, Jane Drinkwalter (Gene Quast), granddaughter Hanni Pichel Ritter and great grandsons Henrik and Oliver Ritter.
Ann just celebrated her 100th birthday with two wonderful parties and was loved and admired by so many. She passed peacefully on September 2, 2023, and will be dearly missed.
Services will be held:
Saturday September 23, 2023, 3:00 PM, with a reception following.
San Carlos United Methodist Church
6554 Cowles Mountain Blvd
San Diego, 92119
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to:
- AAUW (make checks to AAUW La Mesa-El Cajon, CA Foundation (and indicate if the donation is to be used for scholarships or for their endowment) and mail to 1459 Everview Road, San Diego, CA 92110, or
- The University of Minnesota Foundation and mail to the University of Minnesota Foundation, PO Box 860266, Minneapolis, MN 55489-0269 and indicate it is in memory of Ann Drinkwalter for Fund # 20895, the Ann T Drinkwalter Scholarship.