Barbara Anne Thompson
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Barbara Anne Thompson
  • June 18, 1928 - July 23, 2017
  • Novato, California

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Barbara Ann Reese Thompson, after 89 blessed years on this earth, was called home by our Lord on July 23, 2017. While we are all deeply saddened by the loss, we find comfort knowing Barbara was welcomed home by her husband, Col. Henry Clay "Tommy" Thompson, III, her parents Col. Franklin and Thelma Reese, her sister Jean Allison as well as many other family members and lifelong friends. Barbara and Tommy are dancing together once again.
Barbara, the family matriarch, always said she was blessed with an incredible life. She was born in 1928 in Scranton Pennsylvania. Barbara attended Greenbrier and Alhambra Business College. While growing up, she was fortunate to travel extensively with her family during her father's Army career, including the states of Georgia and Kentucky, as well as the country of Japan. While living in Japan during the military occupation, she was employed by the Army and worked for Gordon Prange who was the Chief Historian in General Douglas MacArthur's staff and who later authored several books, including At Dawn We Slept.

Barbara's mother, Thelma, played matchmaker - she invited Major Henry Clay Thompson, III, a dentist in the Army to a Christmas Holiday party, making sure he and Barbara met. Barbara also needed her wisdom teeth removed so Thelma set up an appointment with Dr. Thompson ("Tommy"). Tommy couldn't help but be smitten with Barbara and the whirlwind courtship began - they were married 6 months later.
Barbara continued her life of travel with Tommy's Army career, living in many states including Maryland, Colorado, Texas, Washington, Hawaii, California, as well as a stint in Germany. When Tommy retired, they made their home in Novato, California where they lived together for over 40 years, until Tommy passed in 2013. During their retirement years, Barbara and Tommy continued to travel, cruise and entertain. Barbara was also a faithful servant, serving her Church, Good Shepherd Lutheran, where she and Tommy were members for over 40 years. She was a member of the Church's Bible group, Ruth Circle, and enjoyed participating in home visits and participating as a member of the greeting committee during earlier years. Barbara also enjoyed her social life, being a member of her Sunshine Girls group, as well as her Garden Club.

Barbara and Tommy were blessed with almost 61 years of marriage. During their marriage, they had three children, Barbara Gay Mitchell (Chuck), Henry Clay Thompson, IV (Susan), and James Franklin Thompson (LaDonna). She was also blessed with six grandchildren, Nathan (Marcia) Mitchell, Becky Mitchell, Joan (Justin) Hill, Henry Clay "Tommy" (Tricia) Thompson, V, James Franklin Thompson, II, and Joseph Anthony Thompson; as well as a great granddaughter, June Hill, a great grandchild on the way, and a step-great grandson Parker Napp.
After Tommy's death, Barbara continued to live in the family home in Novato with the help and care of family as well as loving caregivers through Hired Hands Homecare. Barbara considered one very special lady, Joyce, more than a caregiver, she was her friend. Even after Barbara was unable to remember names, her eyes lit up and she smiled wide when she saw Joyce arrive.

Barbara battled Alzheimer's disease as well as squamous cell carcinoma the last several years of her life. Barbara spent the last six months of her life as a resident at Adobe House Memory Care in Petaluma. She found joy within the community and love from the staff and caregivers. The family thanks everyone at Adobe House for making Barbara's residency there a joyous one for her. The last 3 months of Barbara's life, Hospice was brought in to help with the transition. The family also thanks Hospice by the Bay staff for all their help, care, pastoral visits and companion visits.
Barbara is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews and cousins throughout the southern states. Let's not forget her extended Church family from Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, as well and friends from her neighborhood and Garden Club.
Barbara was a true lady in every sense of the word, never one to be caught without her lipstick on, hair perfectly coifed and wearing jewelry. She will be remembered for so much - her faith, her sparkling blue eyes, her smile, her unconditional love, the many stories she shared about her amazing life, and her graciousness.

Memorial donations may be made to Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, the Alzheimer's Organization, Hospice by the Bay or your favorite charity.


Memorial Services will be held on Saturday, September 30, 2017, 11 AM, at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 1180 Lynwood Dr., Novato, CA; followed by a lunch reception in the Church's Fellowship Hall.


Arrangements under the direction of Keaton's Redwood Chapel of Marin, Novato, CA.