Mary Elizabeth (Bunting) Thompson left this world on Thursday, October 15 after a long illness. She was born in Portland, Maine on April 2, 1927, the second child of William Bernard Bunting and Doris Chandler Soule Bunting. She attended local schools, graduating from Deering High School in 1945. She married Russell Gould Thompson of Portland on her birthday in 1949. Together they had three children: William Edward, Dana Russell and Karen Elizabeth. During their early marriage they were sent by the Army out West to Washington State, where their two younger children were born. The couple returned to Portland for good in 1955, driving across the country with their three babies, during the winter.
Mary had a lot of friends and was almost always the life of the party. She loved to laugh and kept herself active most of her life. She enjoyed CB Radio during the 60s and 70s, boating with friends, and joining her brother’s family for lobster feeds at Thomas Pond in Raymond. She made several trips to Alaska to see her grandchildren and daughter. Highlights of her Alaska trips included a 1-hour floatplane trip up a tidewater glacier and cruising the Inside Passage on the Alaska State Ferry with her friend Rose.
Mary loved to travel and enjoyed trips to Alaska, Louisiana and Alabama, Missouri, New York City, Washington DC and many other places. A major thrill for her was a trip to visit her nephew John Bunting, who took her to see a Chiefs game, then took her onto the playing field and introduced her to Joe Montana. She returned to Maine decked out in Kansas City Chiefs clothing and regalia. She never forgot that trip.
She volunteered her services as a driver for Regional Transportation and also drove an escort vehicle during the construction of the Piscataqua River Bridge. She escorted many of the huge beams that make up the span. Mary worked at home doing billing for Thompson & Anderson, the business her husband founded with his partner Andy Anderson in Westbrook, Maine. Her favorite job, however, was as a cashier at the Puritan Tea Room on Congress Street in Portland,
where she enjoyed bantering with the lunchtime regulars each day. She could be found each morning typing up the menu and running off copies on the mimeograph machine.
She knit countless pairs of mittens and donated them to needy children. She participated in fundraising walks, and was a devoted supporter of the Westbrook Animal Refuge League. Mary was a longtime member of TOPS in Westbrook and KOPS in Falmouth, and for a long time enjoyed taking ceramics classes. Mary was a gifted cook, celebrated for her delicious apple pies. She made so many pies that her friends called her “Apple Peeler”. She enjoyed life and stayed engaged and active until she suffered a fall on her 80th birthday. She then entered a series of assisted living and long-term care facilities. Her favorite place was 75 State Street, where she thrived until her health care needs exceeded the facility’s ability to meet them. Mary’s final stay was at Portland’s Barron Center, whose caring and skilled staff are to be commended for their outstanding care. We are grateful.
She is predeceased by her parents, her eldest child, William (Bill) Edward Thompson and her husband, Russell G. Thompson. She is survived by her son, Dana Russell Thompson (Vickie) and their children Kristina Marie and Matthew Dana Thompson, and her great granddaughter, Emma Lynn Miller, Kristina’s child. Mary is also survived by her daughter, Karen Elizabeth Thompson Lybrand, and her grandchildren, twins Kyle Edith and Ethan George, and Katherine Hill Lybrand. Surviving as well are her brother James Moulton Bunting and her nephews James, John and Paul Bunting and their wives and children, and her sister-in-law Geneva Olsen.
Respecting her explicit wishes, Mary was cremated and will be interred between her husband and beloved son, Bill. No services are planned. If desired, donations in her memory may be made to the Westbrook, Maine Animal Refuge League, especially for the cat division, Mary’s special soft spot.