Phyllis V. Thompson


MENDOTA - Phyllis V. Thompson, 92, of Mendota, formerly of Belt, Mont., slipped quietly from sleep in her home into the arms of her loving Savior and is now singing and dancing on the streets of Heaven.

A memorial service will be held at a later date, when all her family can gather safely together to celebrate her life. Merritt Funeral Home, Mendota is assisting the family.

Phyllis was born June 29, 1928 in Wethersfield to McKinley and Vonda Eshelman. She married Floyd Thompson on June 3, 1956. He preceded her in death on Sept. 22, 2001. He preceded her in death.

Survivors include three daughters, Margo Gamble of Sharpsburg, Ga., Kim (Kenny) Van Rheenen of Mendota, and Diana (Kevin) Watts of LeClaire, Iowa; three sisters, Marilyn Alexander of North Carolina, Ruth (Marion) Kubinsky of Kewanee and Barbara Fors of Woodhull; her twin brother, Philip (Lois) Eshelman of Ankeny, Iowa; one sister-in-law, Roseanne Eshelman; five grandchildren, Ryan Gamble of Sharpsburg, Ga., Kristopher (Melinda) Watts of Lisle, Allison Watts of LeClaire, Iowa, Travis Van Rheenen of Kirkland, and Logan Van Rheenen of Annawan; one great-granddaughter; and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; twin sons; five brothers, Joseph, William (Dorothe - deceased), Paul (Delora-deceased), Richard (Betty – deceased) and Vernon Eshelman; two sisters, Josephine Eshelman and Marcia Horine; and two brothers-in-law, David Alexander and Cecil Fors.

Phyllis loved the Lord most of all and shared His light and love with everyone she met. She loved to bake and to feed people. She was known as “The Cookie Lady” by many of the lucky recipients of her baked goods throughout the years. She loved singing hymns and often did so while she did housework, which she called “playing house.” She loved to trounce her children and grandchildren at Canasta and did so gleefully. Phyllis and Floyd traveled extensively during his Air Force career. In the first 15 years of their marriage, they lived in 23 different locations. Upon retirement, they moved to the little town of Belt, Mont., which they called home for the next 31 years. No matter where they were stationed, Phyllis made a point of making friends quickly and always stayed in touch with those she befriended. She sent over 120 Christmas cards each year to people they met in their travels. She always said, “Make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver, and the other is gold.”

Following Floyd’s death, Phyllis moved to Mendota, where she has lived in her “little house across the drive” for the past 19 years. As was her way, she met many friends in her new community, especially her church family at Mendota First Presbyterian.

Memorials may be directed to the micro-pantry at the First Presbyterian Church, which offers food to anyone who needs it.

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