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Joan Thompson
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Joan Thompson

Monday, December 10th, 1928 - Wednesday, March 13th, 2019


Joan Yvonne Clark (Newman) Thompson

In the midst of an early winter storm on December 10, 1928, Joan Yvonne entered this world. Her father, George Clark, trudged the shoreline from the West Quoddy Coast Guard Station for three days before arriving home in Lubec to see his wife, Zelma, and their new daughter. Joan departed this life on Wednesday March 13, 2019 at her own home in Kennebunk, Maine fully surrounded by family after a brief illness followed by rehab. Her 90 years and three months encompassed a world of change.

During WWII her family moved frequently following her father’s Coast Guard career. She started school in Lubec, moved to Southwest Harbor, then Cape Elizabeth, and returned to graduate from Lubec High School in 1947. In her youth she loved dancing and singing. Although she was 5’11’ sports were not her thing.

Joan started at Washington State Teachers College in Machias, Maine when her second child began kindergarten. She graduated in 1966, one year ahead of that same daughter’s college graduation. She went on to earn two Masters Degrees.

On June 29, 1957 she married Samuel H. Thompson Jr. of Northfield, Maine. They lived one year in Princeton before settling in Grand Lake Stream where she taught grades 5 through 8 in the two room schoolhouse. She and Sam then ran the Pine Tree Store and raised their family.

In 1965 the family moved to Milltown, Maine and then Calais where she taught Elementary grades and Special Education. She taught her own children in the elementary level. In summers Joan was a Front Line Immigration Inspector on the Ferry Point International Bridge.

Wherever she worked she found people to enjoy and to laugh and joke with. She had an amazing memory until her final hours and could remember everyone and how they were connected. She relished those memories. Joan knew her ancestors as well, and could repeat their lineage, even all 10 children of some and who they married. Her Facebook friends will miss her “likes”, especially regarding anything “twin.”

She was an original Jeopardy fan and watched it from its inception with Art Flemming at noon time during her lunch break from the Academy Street School in Calais. She influenced many in her circle to do the same.

When Joan retired in 1989 she travelled to Europe with two of her girls and took a tumble down the Tower of Pisa, causing its increased tilt perhaps? She took a trip to Ireland and cruised to Hawaii, Alaska, the Caribbean, and the Panama Canal. She also took on the role of babysitter to Kathy and Eddie Bell’s newborn son, Sam, and the Bells became like a second family.

After her husband, Sam’s, death in March, 1997, Joan moved to Orono to be closer to the 2 children there and to her youngest grandchildren. When Larry’s family moved to Kennebunk, Maine they found a house with an in-law apartment for her. She happily spent her final days there surrounded by family and her Healthcare companion, Jen Donahue and the family dog, Annie.

Joan was predeceased by her parents, George and Zelma Clark; brothers Frank and Doug Clark; an infant sister; and two grandsons, Scott Brown and David Thompson in 2001.

She is survived by 6 children, Brenda Brown Shaw of Brewer and Grand Lake Stream, Maine, Shelby Driscoll and husband, Tom, of Windham, Maine, Cindy Newton and husband, David, of Milton, New Hampshire, Brent Thompson and wife, Susan, of Naples, Florida, Paula Thompson and Robert Harrell of Suffolk, Virginia, and Dr. Lawrence D. Thompson and wife, Jennifer, of Kennebunk, Maine; 10 grandchildren, Scott and Mark Brown, Dr. Michael Driscoll, Tony and Leah Driscoll, Jeffrey Poirier, David Thompson, Samuel Gough, Grace and Joseph Thompson; granddog and companion, Annie; 11 great-grandchildren, 4 great-great-grandchildren; nephew, Dale A. Clark, niece, Patty Blake, and nephew, Steven Clark.

There will be no funeral services as she considered her 90th birthday party last December to be her “Celebration of Life.” She was deeply touched and overwhelmed with happiness by the number of guests and the beauty of it all. She loved getting her birthday cards and each one brightened her day. The family will hold a private graveside service at Lubec’s Corey Cemetery in the spring.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to: Good Shepherd Food Bank, 3121 Hotel Road, Auburn, Maine 04210 and designate “for Washington County in memory of Joan Thompson.”

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Jean Perry Elsemore

Shelby and Family, Like many others, I appreciated your Mom's sense of humor and positive outlook. She always stopped to say hi and told a story. She touched many lives during her life's journey. I know you are proud to call her Mom. What a character! Love and Hugs, Jean Perry Elsemore
Comment | Posted at 09:50am via Condolence

Deb Niles

Joan was "one of a kind," great mother of friends and wonderful teacher! Prayers and hugs for the family! Deb (Lord) Niles
Comment | Posted at 05:15pm via Condolence

Maurice Brown

Growing up in Grand Lake Stream I had the pleasure of knowing Joan and Sam Thompson. Joan was my school teacher and a great friend who later in life became my wife mentor in Special Education in Calais. Her son in law Jack Brown and I were good friend and played sports together in high school. She never judged me and we had many laughs over the years. Being a teen ager in Grand Lake stream growing up with her daughters Brenda and Shelby. She taught me some valuable lessons, one being never hide my beer in her culvet because Sam loved our Budweiser beer. Every time I saw Joan would put a smile on my face because of the great memories of a wonderful family in Grand Lake Stream. Joan got my attention in school because she had a paddle which I thought had my name on it. I will miss seeing Joan on Facebook. RIP to my Favorite teacher Joan Thompson.
Comment | Posted at 09:45am via Condolence

Catherine Lutz

What a beautiful lady. She has impacted so many children in her life. God love her
Comment | Posted at 08:57am via Condolence

Marie Krug

Marie Krug So sad to read of Joan's passing. She was a wonderful teacher and a wonderful friend.
Comment | Posted at 08:37am via Condolence

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207-985-2752 Bibber Memorial Chapel
67 Summer Street
Kennebunk, ME 04043