Lois Mardelle Thompson, 90, passed away on Thursday, October 10, 2019 in Morro Bay, California after suffering a stroke. She is survived by her daughter Leslie Thompson and son-in-law Vince Cicero, son David Thompson, and daughter Wendy Thompson, as well as granddaughter Nikki and her husband Derek and 3 grandchildren: Abigail, McKenna, and Kellen. Family members were able to give her lots of love in the last few days of her life. Lois was preceded in death by her beloved husband Robert Gilbert Thompson, who was Director of Curriculum for LUSD for decades.
Lois Mardelle Bunger was born in Kearney, Nebraska on November 17, 1928. Her father, mother, aunt and uncle all piled their belongings into their Model T Ford and made the migration to Southern California when Lois was 7. She lived in the golden state the rest of her 90 years of life, which included about 40 years in the Valley of the Flowers in Lompoc, California.
After finishing high school, Lois enrolled at UC Berkeley, and with an emergency credential decided to teach where she was needed, in Kern County. She started her career in Weed Patch, near Bakersfield, where she met another talented musician and teacher, Robert Gilbert Thompson from Cleveland, Ohio. They were married in June of 1949 and remained so for 44 years until his passing.
Always with the support and encouragement from Bob, Lois returned to another UC campus, finishing her degree in the 60s. She went on to acquire her master's degree in counseling from Cal Poly SLO and spent the last of her 30 years as a credentialed teacher and counselor at Lompoc Valley Middle School.
Music, art, dance, drama and literature have always been important to Lois, beginning with cello lessons, continuing with folk dancing, training and performance experience in Reader's Theater, and being an avid reader and promoter of literacy as a reading specialist. She took art classes and workshops, learning techniques in acrylic, watercolor, collage, drawing, and batik. Because of her artistry and appreciation, she had quite a collection of art, much of it original.
There were many fun-filled summers for the family motivated in part by the pursuit of the perfect fishing hole. Multiple expeditions to Oregon and Mexico yielded photo upon photo of Lois (or the other women in the family) having caught the largest fish! Upon retirement Lois was able to expand her horizons with trips across the planet. She made sound investments that allowed her the luxury of travel. Her three passports show evidence of the various places she visited, with Thailand being her favorite of the almost 20 countries she was able to explore.
Lois will be remembered for her wit and wisdom, her passion for the arts, and her open-minded and fearless nature. One of her beliefs, exemplified by the decisions she made in life, was to “try everything once and the fun things twice!” Among her greatest joys was being in the presence of her family, especially her granddaughter and great grandchildren. The Thompson Family hootenannies are among our favorite memories, when the stand-up bass, the guitars, the voices would resound in full force and bring forth tunes from almost every genre, particularly folk and popular music. We will only give brief mention of the competitive board games, the backyard croquet battles, the bridge and gin rummy card games, and the smart lady rolling the dice and shuffling the cards looking forward to her next win. Sweet Lois, you will always be a winner in our hearts. Thank you for your generosity of spirit, enthusiasm for life, and love of people and of all things beautiful.
Donations to the Morro Bay Friends of the Library will be much appreciated.