Elsie THOMPSON

THOMPSON, Elsie Doris (McRae). Elsie Doris (McRae) Thompson, a 60 year resident of Wenatchee and Leavenworth, passed away on Wednesday, August 07, 2013 at Leavenworth WA, at the age of 96. She was born January 05, 1917 at Agassiz, BC, Canada to Duncan and Katherine (Gillander) McRae. She graduated from High School in 1934 and attended the University of British Columbia, Vancouver Normal school, and Victoria College. Although Elsie was raised on a homestead farm her mother, Katherine, was determined that the hard work of farm life would not befall her children. She therefore borrowed money from her brother, a dentist in Boston, to send the oldest child to UBC. Each child in turn helped support the financial needs of a younger child until six out of the seven siblings were university educated as teachers-a deed of great sacrifice and reflecting a tremendous family work ethic. Elsie taught elementary school for 5 years in BC shortly after graduating as a teacher. She married Oscar Thompson on June 27, 1942 in Rossland, BC. For the next 11 years the family lived in various gold mining camps in the wilds of BC where Oscar worked as mine superintendent: Riegel Mines, Kootenay Belle, Gold Belt Mines and Rossland Mining Company. In 1953 the family moved to the US where her husband, Oscar, was superintendent of Lovitt Gold Mines up Squilchuck and later, an engineer for the City of Wenatchee. In the early 1960’s she attended Central Washington State College of Education earning fi rst a BA and then an MA in Education which involved many years of summer school with her young daughters in tow. When it came to furthering her education she was a driving force. Elsie taught elementary school for 20 more years in Wenatchee at S. Wenatchee Elementary and then Columbia, retiring in June 1977. After retirement she and Oscar traveled to England, Scotland, Europe, and New Zealand where they visited castles, cathedrals, and the Roman Coliseum. Elise was a voracious reader and was seldom seen without a book by her side. She loved poetry and could recite hundreds of poems from memory, a legacy she passed on to her children. She was a naturalist at heart and could identify many native plants and flowers. Elsie took great pride in preserving fruit for her family’s needs and often yearly canned as many as 300 jars of fruit that she generously shared. She maintained a lovely rose garden and enjoyed working in her vegetable garden as well. She was a member of the First Presbyterian Church for 50 years where she had taught Sunday school and had been a Circle Leader. She had been a volunteer for many years at Colonial Vista in the 1980’s. More recently in Leavenworth she attended the First Methodist Church with her daughter Mary’s family. Elsie was preceded in death by her husband, Oscar, in 2005 after 63 years of loving marriage. She was the last of 7 children, being preceded in death

by her 3 brothers and 3 sisters all of British Columbia, Canada. She is survived by her two daughters, Mary (Tom) Guthrie of Leavenworth and Sherry (Michael)Thompson of Bellingham, WA. She also leaves behind 5 grandchildren: Graeme, Galen, Gilly, Bryn and Ian and two great grandchildren, Gillis and Marlen. A celebration of her life is planned in the near future at Agassiz, BC, Canada. Ward’s Funeral Chapel, Leavenworth is in charge of the arrangements.