99, Indian Brook, Cabot Trail

On Oct. 19, 2013, Helen Louise Thompson peacefully left us to illuminate some other world. Her crochet hook is back in its case, car keys on the wall, and credit card quiet in her billfold. Buoyed by community, friends, and family, both near and far, Helen’s life was filled with determination and love.

Born on Sept. 26, 1914, into a closely knit family, Helen was the daughter of the late Royal and Edna Andrews of Marion, Ohio, and older sister to Marnie and Katy.

Helen began driving at the age of 13, apprenticed to a seamstress after graduating from high school, and then went into nurses’ training in Columbus, Ohio. She graduated and began nursing in 1939 as supervisor in surgery. Later Helen shifted to industry, providing nursing and a sympathetic ear to workers at a steel plant and at Universal Cooler, where she met and married Bonar Thompson when he returned from the U.S. Navy after the war.

When Helen was 40, Bonar persuaded her to leave Ohio and help him establish a roofing-and-siding business in his birth province of New Brunswick. They hauled a 30-foot mobile home across the country, and Helen jumped out to stop traffic as they crossed bridges. In Canada she bonded with her in-laws, and made a beautiful home in Moncton, overlooking the Petitcodiac River. She was a lifelong member of Beta Sigma Phi sorority.

Nicknamed “The Roadrunner” by the boy next door, Helen shopped, went to meetings, gardened, sewed, and directed Thompson Bros. Ltd. workmen in New Brunswick and Labrador. She drove to Ohio twice a year, to Florida, to British Columbia, to Maine for truckloads of asbestos shingles. Helen always had a kind ear for friends, and she made a friend of everyone she met.

When Bonar died in 1974, Helen closed down the business, worked as secretary to two ministers, and traveled. In 1987 she bought property in Indian Brook, Cape Breton, to be near her daughter, moving here permanently in 1993. Always instructed and comforted by her faith, she was a member of St. Ann’s Bay United Church, and was vastly supported by her church family, Bonnie’s work family (Ron Caplan and Sharon Irwin), our community, and Victoria County Memorial Hospital, Hospice Society, and Continuing Care.

Besides her husband and parents, Helen was predeceased by her sisters, Margaret Swann and Kathryn Apt, daughter-in-law, Gay Thompson and grandson, Wayne, brothers-in-law, Paul Groves, Lyle Swann, Rob Roy Apt, Arnold McWilliam and Robert, Gordon, George, Frank and Earl Thompson, sisters-in-law, Doris, Esther, Rhoda, and Kathryn Thompson and Margaret McWilliam, sister-in-law and special friend, Elnor Thompson, and many good friends.

Helen is survived by her daughter, Bonnie; son, Richard; grandsons, Seth and Lloyd; sister-in-law, Muriel Thompson; special nieces, Karen (Jim) Kozlowski and Marion Thompson (John Roberts) and family; beloved caregivers, Gloria Mauger and Grace Ann MacDermid, and many loving nieces, nephews, and friends old and new and old and young!

One could say that the themes of Helen’s life are: Driving, and Friendship, and Work — in about that order!

A gathering of family and friends to celebrate the life of Helen Thompson will be held at a later date.

Donations in memory of Helen may be made to a charity of one’s choice.

Funeral arrangements are under the care and direction of Pier Community Funeral Home.

Send an online condolence.


                        Online Condolences

Being brought up Wreck Cove next Ron Kaplan, I would run into Mrs. Thompson on several occasions. She was an extremely nice lady. My condolences to Bonnie and the family.
From:  Donald Smith (Alex and Evelyn’s son)

For a woman that touches my heart by her determination and love of life, our conversations truly let a print in me. I will always remember her collection of little shoes just as how far she walked in life. I am sending love to her and her family.
From:  Audree Robidas Racine

Bonnie & Richad & family, My most sincere condolences; your Mom was amazing and I am so happy I had time with her over the years as her insurance agent; it was always a pleasure….she was such a lady. I loved reading about her life, she was a real treasure for sure. Much Love, Jennifer Craig

We were always welcomed in when we arrived from the States for a summer visit. Her hospitality ripples on through all of us who experienced it.
From:  Esther

Deepest sympathy to the family of Helen. She was truly a beautiful inspiring lady. May God be with you during this difficult time.
From:  Marjorie Serafinus

Bonnie and Richard & family, So terribly sorry to read about Helen’s passing. She was one lovely lady and I enjoyed reading about her life…….she was amazing! But of course, we all knew that! It was my pleasure to be her insurance agent and friend. We shall all miss her. God Bless.
From:  Jennifer Craig