Monday, January 7, 2013

In Memory of the Best Grandma

In Memory of

Norma Eileen Thompson

March 13, 1921 - December 24, 2012

Norma Eileen Thompson
1921 ~ 2012

Norma Eileen Pyper Thompson peacefully passed away early in the morning of December 24, 2012. Her family surrounded her. She was born in Park City, Utah, March 13, 1921, to Harold J. Pyper and Verda Wright. At 4 years of age, the family moved to Salt Lake City on Roberta Street. With good grades and a thirst for knowledge, she was advanced two grades graduating from South High School in 1936. It was there she met her eternal sweetheart William (Bill) Hooper Thompson. She waited for him while he was on an LDS Mission to Denmark. On release he entered World War II as a University of Utah ROTC graduate he served as a 2nd Lieutenant. On a 3-day pass, they got married in the Salt Lake Temple on November 17, 1941. They had four sons and one daughter. Due to Eileen having the Rh factor, little Brian experienced Cerebral Palsy. She lovingly cared for him till his passing at age 9. Having faith in her doctor's learning and Heavenly Father she had two more babies, who experienced blood exchanges immediately after birth with no complications.
She was an accomplished organist and pianist. She played the organ in church at age 12, and was always the ward organist and played the organ in the temple for 25 years, she was released at age 90 from both. She inspired the love of music in her children, especially James, who she encouraged to complete a Doctorate in music education.
She loved the out of doors and took every opportunity to take the family into the mountains or deserts, camping or hiking, where no 4-wheel drive vehicle would dare to go. Two sons have degrees in Geology and one son has a life-long association in that field.
She was the best grandmother ever. She never forgot anyone's birthday. She took all the grandchildren on camping trips giving them a lifetime interest in collecting rocks. She always enjoyed being a hands-on grandmother, and was glad to spend time with them, especially while their parents were away.
She was a patron of the Arts, loving the symphony concerts, plays, the opera, and all Choral productions. She always supported her children and grandchildren in their performances. She even played for many of James' musicals at his high schools. The students call her Mrs. T.
She had a great love for her ancestors and kept extensive genealogy records. She told descendants many of the family stories. She did her Master's Thesis on the settlers of Coalville where her Mother's family came from.
Upon graduating from Brigham Young University in 1990, with a Master's of Arts degree, her picture appeared in the newspaper in full cap and gown for being the oldest graduate. What it did not say, was she had a 4.0 grade point average.
She worked as a legal secretary for many years. She was Vernon Romney's private secretary while he was Attorney General for two terms. He called her the original Woman's Libber. She and her husband fulfilled a two year proselyting mission in Frankfort, Germany in 1986. She even conquered the German Language. The whole family lived in Germany 1951-1954, while Dad was on active duty.
She is survived by her children, David and Deanna Thompson, Elisabeth and Thomas Jones (Keith Long, deceased), James and Linda Thompson, Bruce and LaRee Thompson (later divorced), her sisters Nida Thayer (Leonard, deceased), Phyllis Smart (Eldon, deceased); 16 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, son Brian, her parents, her sister Helen and Art Spencer and a granddaughter Mindy Long Jewkes and Matthew Garth Jewkes (Later divorced)
Funeral services will be Wednesday, January 2, 2013 at 11:00 am at the East Millcreek Stake Center, 3108 E. Craig Drive. The family will receive friends Tuesday from 6-8 pm and one hour prior to service all at the church. Interment: Salt Lake City Cemetery. 

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