Obituary

Eleanor Catherine Thomson Reikie Thompson  (Catherine) B. March 21, 1917 at Edmonton, Alberta.
D. July 28, 2007 at Richmond, Quebec.  Graduated from the University of Alberta with a B.Sc. in Home Economics with a special interest in Organic Chemistry.  Moved to Montreal during the war to find employment in munitions.  Through Andrew Reid, she met A. Lloyd Thompson, whom she married Sept. 25, 1943.  Lived in Montreal West for 56 years.  She was a homemaker, who was a member of United Church Women, University Women's Club, and Montreal West United Church, where she attended until moving to The Wales Home in Richmond, QC in August 2001.  She loved music, in particular, opera; and sang in the church choir.  She enjoyed her travels to Europe, Australia, and Barbados.  When she became ill in September of 1991, her husband, Lloyd faithfully looked after her at their home in Montreal West until July of 2001.  Survived by her husband, Lloyd, Richmond; her children Margaret (Tom) Loghrin, Thunder Bay and David, Montreal; her brother, Bryce (Dorothy) Reikie, Edmonton, AB; her sister-in-law, Joy Nugent Kinnear's Mills, QC; her special cousin, Alice (Marty) Dewis, Calgary, AB; and her nieces and nephews, John Reikie, Toronto; Donald Nugent (Marlene), Montreal; Judy Melanson (Alfred), Bathurst, NB; Dale Nugent,((Hélène), Kinnear's Mills, QC, and Ian Reikie (Diane), Flintstone, MD, U.S.A .   Predeceased by her dearly beloved son George, her brothers, Ker and Thorpe Reikie; her brother-in law, Murray Nugent, her sisters-in law, Dorothy, May, Dolly, and Peggy Reikie and her niece Mary Reikie.  Cremation has taken place.  Memorial service /Celebration of her life will be held at Montreal West United Church, Montreal West, Sept. 17, 2007 at 2:00 p.m.  Visitation at 1:00 p.m.  Private interment at Candlish United Church Cemetery, Kinnear's Mills at a later date.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Wales Home, Richmond, QC or The Alzheimer's Society.


Eulogy

        Eleanor Catherine Thomson Reikie Thompson, Mom, or Catherine, was born Mar. 21, 1917 in Edmonton AB and died July 28, 2007 in Richmond QC.  Mom was the youngest and the only girl in a family of 3 older boys.  They teased her relentlessly.  Granny Reikie, her mother was an old battleaxe who told Mom the "she" had ruined her plans to have 6 boys.  She thought that women were useless.  (And no, she was not Chinese.)  What a thing to grow up with!  All this served to form strong character in my mother, as did the fact that her father was a minister - so she was a PK Preacher's Kid and all that that entails. The family lived in Forest Heights on the south side of Edmonton, and then 10638-84th Av., an area near the university.  She attended Strathcona High and the University of Alberta where she wanted to study Organic Chemistry, but was not permitted to do so because she was a woman.  The only way she could take these courses was through a degree in Home Economics.  She moved to Montreal during the war to get a job.  Andrew Reid, a friend of her father and a relative of my father, introduced Mom and Dad.  Grandpa Thompson thought Mom was O.K. because she didn't have painted nails.  After they married Sept. 25, 1943, they spent about a year in Toronto where Mom worked as a dietician at Sick Kids. They returned to Montreal where I was born, then lived at 63 Ballantyne Av. N. for 56 years. Mom was a member of Montreal West United Church and sang in the choir, a member of the U.C.W., the Montreal West Operatic Society, the Montreal West Travel Club, the McGill Wives Club, and University Women's Club. She enjoyed her travels to Europe, Australia, Barbados, Tweedside Farm, Thunder Bay, and her beloved Alberta.  When I was growing up, many holidays were spent at the farm, where I developed my love of animals large and small.  Auntie Joy and Uncle Murray were like second parents to me, and my cousins Donald, Judy & Dale were like a second family.  On Mom's trips to Alberta, she visited friends, relatives and her special cousin Alice (Auntie Alice to me) who gave me many of the early photographs from her collection, that you will see in the slide show at the lunch following the service.  When she became ill in September of 1991, Dad faithfully looked after her at their home in Montreal West until July of 2001 when they moved to the Wales Home in Richmond QC.
        My mother gave me the greatest gift a parent can give a child, that of encouraging me to stand on my own two feet, to think for myself, and to be independent.  It wasn't easy getting me there. 
        I remember the strap.  She would hold our hands (George and me) to give us the strap.  When we got the brilliant idea to yank our hands away and she hit her own hand, Dad saw us about that when he got home from work. 
        At the age of about 12 when she had asked me to do some job that I thought was beneath me, I told her she didn't love me and that I thought that I must be adopted, so she kicked me down the stairs.  I think it shaped me up and prevented any further whiny teenage nonsense. 
        Later, Mom wanted to join the workforce, but Dad would not let her.  That is unfathomable now, but things were different then.  This probably had a great influence in my decision to have a career and always be financially independent.  Mom was very wise in that regard as she owned the house my parents lived in and my brother now lives in. 
        She tried to imbue me with her love of opera by listening to the Metropolitan Opera as we dusted on Saturday afternoons.  Mom was a great shopper.  She had a great sense of style and always found bargains.  Mom dyed her hair until her trip to Expo 86 and asked me what I thought of letting her hair go white.  I thought that was a great idea as she had the most beautiful thick wavy hair.  I have neither inherited her love of opera, nor her love of shopping, nor of dying my hair nor the thick wavy hair.  I always wanted to be tall like Mom at 5' 9 ½".  The rest of the family was all tall.  And no, it wasn't the milkman.  My maternal grandmother, Granny Reikie was 4' 10" and maternal grandfather, Granddaddy Reikie was 6' 4".  You should have seen the two of them toddling down the sidewalk together.  Back to the shopping, when Mom wanted to meet me downtown, if I wanted her to be there at 1:00, I would say meet me at 12:00, and she just might be there by 1:00.  As a result, I am a stickler for time.  The other thing she would say is, " meet me on the northwest corner of Ste. Catherine and University", and I didn't have a clue about directions which are really difficult in Montreal anyway.  I now refer to locations the same way.
        I did inherit her love of horses. She rode at our place one time and went off the back of a horse in a freaky occurrence.  She said, "Don't you dare tell Dad."  I also inherited her love of the mountains.  I didn't manage to get all the way to Alberta to the real mountains, but we do have 1400 foot mesas in Thunder Bay.
        When I left Collingwood in 1969 for a job in Thunder Bay, she cried.  I told her that it wasn't as bad as her move from Edmonton to Montreal; it was only half the distance, and furthermore I was going from the big bad city of Montreal to a small city.  The distance didn't keep us apart.  I was well over forty before we weren't together Christmas.
        Mom valued education, loved CBC Radio, museums, art galleries and cultural events.  She was a fierce Canadian who wouldn't permit U.S. cable T.V. into our home.  Before it became popular, she was a conservationist.  She rode her bike, reused plastic bags, had us take shallow baths, and got us to turn out the lights!  Good nutrition was very important to her.  Desserts are not an essential food requirement in the Canada Food Guide.  She was certainly ahead of her time.
        When my brother, George committed suicide in 1979, she was grief stricken.  No parent should have to go through the death of a child.  However, dealing with his schizophrenia took a great toll on her and after the grieving period passed, she looked 10 years younger.
        In 1962, when I was 17, my brother, David was born.  We had a Welsh Corgi named Corky and he was so jealous of this new arrival that one of us would have to pick up the dog when Mom was breast feeding David.  Later on, when David became a "person", he and Corky were the best of friends.  Because I started university in the fall of 1962 and was home only to sleep and occasionally eat, and left home when I finished university to teach in Collingwood, we were essentially raised as 2 separate families.
        Quite awhile ago, I  reached a point in my life when I realized that I was saying and doing some things just like my mother did. And so the circle of life goes on.  Thank you all for being here to remember Mom with me.


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Pictures of Mom

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