Celebration of Life Services for Joan Thompson, age 91 formerly of Lenox who passed away Tuesday, April 27, 2021 at The Taylor Hospice House in Des Moines was held Saturday, May 1, 2021 at 1:00 PM at the United Methodist Church in Lenox. Open visitation was Friday at the Ritchie Funeral Home 3 to 6 PM. The family will greet friends at the church prior to services. Burial will proceed the services in the North Fairview Cemetery. Memorials may be directed to the Lenox United Methodist Church. Memories may be shared at www.ritchiefuneralhome.com. Arrangements were entrusted to the Ritchie Funeral Home of Lenox where we ‘Celebrate Life’.
Helen Joan (Fleming) Thompson was born February 15, 1930, to Marvin and Alma Fleming in Lenox, Iowa. She attended school in Lenox, graduating with the class of 1948. When Joan was 12 she went home and told her folks that “the biggest country hick there ever was came to school today”. Later, after being chased for 4 years and being left at their Junior prom to go on a trip to Kentucky, she married “that county hick”. On Easter Sunday, April 9, 1950, Joan married Vernal Thompson in Lenox.
Having little cooking experience at the beginning of their marriage, she told stories of the dishes she ruined. However, despite comical early failures, she quickly became a wonderful cook. Her grandchildren couldn’t get enough of her chicken and noodles, frosted sugar cookies, and strawberry jam among other popular dishes. Despite having recipes, these dishes are difficult to replicate as she made a little different each time!
While Joan and Vernal raised their three children, she worked part-time for her mother-in-law, Pearl, at her flower shop. Joan was a very active member of the First United Methodist Church as a Sunday school teacher, circle leader, member of the United Methodist Women, church historian, changing of paraments, alter flowers and communion preparation as well as other positions. She was a former member of Eastern Star and U.A.C. club. During her retirement, she enjoyed vegetable and flower gardening, watching the birds at her birdfeeders, sewing, counted cross stitch, reading, taking bus trips, and being with her family, especially her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Even with arthritic knees in her later years, she never missed an opportunity to get on the floor and play with her great grandchildren.
Joan will be greatly missed by her three children, Richard (Genelle) Thompson of Winterset, Cheryl (Jim) Murphy of Ankeny, and Gary (Julia) Thompson of Creston; six grandchildren, Wendy (Jayson) McDonald of Winterset, Will (Leslie) Murphy of Maryville, Mo., Rev. Betsy (Zack Koopman) Thompson of Ames, Sarah (James) Beeman of Ankeny, Evan (Tracy) Thompson of Lenox, and Mark (Katie) Thompson of Van Meter; two step-granddaughters, Shawna (Bret) Peterson of Waukee and Casie (Jason) Klejch of Creston; twelve great-grandchildren Cole and Megan McDonald; Brooklyn, Isabella, and Greyson Beeman; Cale Thompson; Andrew, Sadie and Lydia Koopman; Liam and Thatcher Murphy; and Baby Thompson due in May; and three step-great grandchildren Camden and Jublil Klejch and Ellowyn Peterson; along with many other relatives and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents Marvin and Alma Fleming; her loving husband, Vernal Thompson in May of 2011; a grandson, Seth Thompson; brother Robert Fleming and sister Leota Devoe.
We will forever hold Joan’s precious memory in our hearts.
May she be at peace in God’s loving care.