Nancy Middleton Thompson, beloved wife, mother, and teacher, died in Modesto, California, on May 7, 2015. Family, faith, and a commitment to nurturing future generations were the pillars upon which Nancy built a life of love and service. Nancy was devoted to an extended family with deep roots in the Midwest. Following in her parents’ footsteps, she became a teacher in Minneapolis after her graduation from the University of Missouri in 1949. She met and soon married Lloyd in 1950. Her career in public education spanned thirty-eight years, the last nineteen of which were spent in Turlock, California, where she taught at Julien and Crowell elementary schools until her retirement in 1987. She had arrived in Turlock after earning her M.A. in Education at the University of Arizona in 1968. Nancy played an important role in the early days of the California State University-Stanislaus Chapter of Phi Delta Kappa, a professional association for educators she was invited to join in 1976. In 1981-1982 Nancy served as the Stanislaus Chapter’s president. Earlier, the academic excellence and professional promise Nancy displayed at the University of Arizona had led to an invitation in 1968 to join another national honor society of educators, Pi Lambda Theta. She was a Life Member of both PDK and PLT.
Nancy’s faith was a source of strength and solace throughout her long and fruitful life. In every place she lived she gave generously to her church community, especially inspiring and guiding the church’s young people. After moving to Turlock in 1968, Nancy joined Calvary Baptist Church, where she taught Sunday School. But it was the girls of Pioneer Clubs, an organization dedicated to fostering the spiritual and personal development of young people, to whom Nancy poured out her heart and soul. Pioneer Clubs at Calvary flourished under Nancy’s leadership.
The nineteen children lucky enough to call Nancy mother, grandmother, or great-grandmother knew they were bathed in the quiet but intense love of a remarkable woman.
Nancy opened her heart, and front door, to hundreds of people. Whether it was her relatives, her children’s friends, members of the various communities she served, missionaries from afar, or others, Nancy welcomed them all. She cherished their presence in her home; she touched their lives.
Nancy is survived by her devoted husband, Lloyd, with whom she would have celebrated sixty-five years of marriage this August; her children, Roger, Sarah, and Robert; eight grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her sisters, Sarah Sides (Florissant, MO) and Priscilla Coonce (Columbia, MO). Her brother, Charles (Bud) Middleton, pre-deceased her.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Dr. Lloyd R. and Mrs. Nancy M. Thompson Education Scholarship at California State University Stanislaus, 1 University Circle, Turlock, CA 95382. For other suggestions see her obituary on the Allen Mortuary website at www.allenmortuary.com.
The family invites you to join them on Saturday, June 20, 2015, as they remember and celebrate Nancy’s life. This celebration will be held at 3:00 P.M. at Allen Mortuary, 247 North Broadway, Turlock, CA (209.634.5829).