Winnifred Irena Thompson passed away at home on Feb. 25, 2004 after a courageous battle with cancer at the age of 77.
She was born in Osgoode Township on Sept. 21, 1926 to Irena (nee Allen) and the late James Kelso. Known to many as the Farmer’s Wife for her newspaper column that appeared in local papers, she was predeceased by her husband Trevor Thompson, The Farmer.
She is survived by sons Laurie (Kim Raycroft) of Prescott and Joel (Suzanne) of Hallville; and grandchildren Sarah, Darcy, Shannon, Jason and Amanda. She is also survived by her mother Irena Kelsoof Winchester and was predeceased by her sister Jean. She was a member of St. Andrew’s United Church in Hallville.
She began her working career at the Bank of Nova Scotia in Kemptville prior to her marriage to Trevor in October 1945. After her marriage, she was employed with the Kemptville Advance, the Winchester Press and the Prescott Journal.
In later years she was bookkeeper and secretary/treasurer with the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority, until she retired in 1984. During this time, she also completed the municipal administration program to become an accredited member of the Association of Municipal Managers, Clerks and Treasurers of Ontario.
By her own admission, she “loved life and doing things, never sitting long in one spot,” and she shared that passion for life with family and friends as they participated in many activities together like square dancing, snowmobiling, camping, travelling and canoeing.
After retirement, she also added crafts, art, yoga and flower arranging to her activity list. During her entire life, she was an avid reader and writer. She began her writing career freelancing for the Family Herald, the Eastern Ontario Farmer, the Country Roots, and Camping World. Her column, The Farmer’s Wife, was published for 30 years, appearing first in 1967 in the Prescott Journal and later in the Chesterville Record.
Visitation was held at the Grant Brown Funeral Home in Kemptville on Feb. 27, followed by the funeral in the chapel on Feb. 28, officiated by Rev. Blair Paterson. Music was provided by organist Dave Loyer with soloist Brenda Whaley-Christensen singing I Believe. Interment will be in the spring at the South Gower Cemetery.
The family will gratefully acknowledge memorial donations to the Canadian Cancer Society, the Canadian Red Cross to the donor’s charity of choice.