Thelma Millicent Thompson (nee: Nontell)
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October 31, 1924 – April 21, 2021
Age: 96 Years
Thelma Millicent Nontell was the first of identical twins born to Millicent and Orval Nontell on October 31, 1924. Their little brother Allan followed five years later. Thelma grew up in the Lightwood District of Sylvania. She lived on the family farm and went to the Beech Grove School. She enjoyed many activities including winning the district trophy for relay racing.
Thelma met Arnold John Thomas Thompson, from the South Star District, and they were married on October 29, 1947. They went out to the west coast on their honeymoon and settled there. British Columbia was a destination for many of Arnold’s family. They were blessed with three children, Penny Lee was born in 1948, Carol Anne in 1952 and Edward Bain in 1955. They purchased their first home at 3516 Nelson Avenue in the municipality of South Burnaby, B.C. Later the street was rezoned and became 5877 Nelson Avenue. They were on a steep hill with a beautiful view of the mountains and Forest Lawn in the distance. Their home was often the first stop for relatives coming out to the coast. Many Sisters in laws, Brothers in laws, Nieces and Nephews on both sides of the family enjoyed their stay there. Thelma and Arnold welcomed all and encouraged them to find work in the thriving city. In the sixties Uncle Jack Thompson came to live with us.
The family enjoyed camping and always amazed other campers when they pulled up in the baby blue Volkswagen “bug” and out came two adults, three kids, a big cabin tent, camp stove and clothing neatly packed in blue plastic bags and labelled with our names. Thelma was always up for an outing whether it was camping or a good old family picnic. When company came for a visit she toured them all around Vancouver to see the sights, often planning a picnic at Stanley Park. Favourite lakes were Rolley, Alouette and Hatzic Lakes. Every three years we would travel back to Saskatchewan to see all the relatives.
She enjoyed bowling for many years, card games, and cooking as the house was always full. I seem to remember her going to wrestling matches with neighbour Adrie Woloshyn. Fresh fruit was always abundant and she canned quart sealers of cherries and peaches. Apple pies baked in the big aluminum fry pans were a favourite. Black Alaskan Cod was a treat when we had our American cousins Evelyn and Ole for a visit. Arnold worked shift work for years, two weeks days, two weeks afternoons, so we always had big meals for two weeks and casual what ever we would like, Mom and the kids meals, otherwise.
In 1981 Block Brothers Realtors made them an offer they couldn’t refuse. They had always been happy and satisfied in their home, and now after many joyous years of raising their family this was the offer of a lifetime. In her younger years she had had a tea leaf reading and it had said “You live on a hill and don’t sell your house”. The time was right. They sold their Nelson home and the property and home next door that they had purchased in the 1960’s. They then moved to White Rock. They loved their spacious new home with its wonderful sunny location. White Rock seems to have its own weather zone, sunny and bright. It was a great location to call up a family gathering. Sadly, Arnold passed away just two years after they had moved into their new home.
Gardening kept her busy, she had lovely flowering bushes, beautiful hydrangea’s and took pride in her newly planted row of cedars. She loved going for walks and this filled her days, just seeing the sights, the beach, new homes and businesses being built. She was always up for an adventure. She enjoyed going down to the local park and watching the junior baseball championships games.
She always enjoyed visits with her grandchildren whenever she could. She had a quiet sense of accomplishment when she took swimming lessons, as she had always been afraid of water, something we never knew. She would take the big drive up to Harrison Hot Springs to swim and do laps in the pool.
She loved the White Rock community but decided to downsize around 2000 and moved into a condo complex across from the Semiahmoo Mall. There she made many new friends. The Ladies had weekly coffee parties and there was also Bingo Night’s with everyone. She went on the Condo board with friend Mary and they often planned birthday and Christmas parties for the crowd. And there were picnics in the woods where she would go ahead of time and save tables with tablecloths. Her contribution to the picnics was corn on the cob, hot, rolled in towels and tin foil and of course tea.
Later in life she would fly back to Saskatchewan each year to visit with her little sister Alma and Jack, on their farm and later at Alma’s apartment in Cedar Villa, Tisdale. The twins were always up for a good road trip, and along with daughter Penny in Melfort (lovingly called “she’s our Driver MacGyver”) they took many road trips to Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton and Deadwood to check out the Casino’s. They attended many of the Thompson and Nontell Family Reunions.
She lived for a short time with son Ed and Sally Thompson, and then moved into Rosemary Heights Senior Village. She had a comfortable apartment on the third floor with a big window she always enjoyed looking out and watching the world go by. Meals were enjoyed in the large dining room and here she was able to receive extra care and attention.
Thelma is predeceased by her parents Orval and Millicent, her mother and father-in-law Ed and Agnes, her grandson Quinton Arnold in 1979, her husband Arnold John Thomas in 1983, and many cherished Brothers-in-law and Sisters-in– law. On the Nontell side nephews: Guy, Doug, and Michael, niece Lynn, her twin Sister Alma May Slind-Waugh in 2014 and her brother Allan Nontell in 2018.
Left to cherish her beautiful memory are: Daughter Penny (Gerald) MacGillivray and their family: Shawn (Jennifer) MacGillivray, Zachary and Xavier Schweitzer MacGillivray; Lorena MacGillivray; Pearl (Nathan), Penelope Spicer; Ruby and Dexter Dmytrow. Daughter Carol (Doug) Swityk and their family: Roland Swityk; TaraLee (Jeffrey) Richards, KylieAnne, Landon and Layton Richards. Son Edward (Sally) and their son David Thompson.
She was a rare woman, absolutely one of a kind, always smiling, optimistic, encouraging, caring. She truly loved life, enjoyed even the simplest things, always had a kind word and pats on the back. She was cherished by many for her cheerfulness and caring attitude.
At the age of 96 Thelma suffered a heart attack and three weeks later she passed away peacefully. She chose Cremation. In this second year of the worldwide Coronavirus Pandemic a small grave side service was held on May 26, 2021, at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery on Royal Oak in Burnaby, B.C. This Angel will rest beside her beloved husband who she lost too soon, after just 35 years of Marriage.
A beloved Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Great Grandmother, Great Great Grandmother, Sister, Sister-in-law and Aunt. Her love extended to her whole large family and was always felt.
She will be missed by many. Rest in Peace sweet Angel.
Your legacy will live on forever in all of us.