Reflections of a Phenomenal Woman
Earlene Ann Thompson
Earlene Ann Thompson was born to Margaret Booker Thomas and Emery Nolan Thomas in Mansfield, Ohio on November 11, 1926. The Booker family was from Shelbyville, Kentucky and the Thomas family was from Birmingham, Alabama. Surrounded with the love of her family and friends at home, we praised the Lord for a life well-lived when Earlene entered the presence of God Almighty on Friday, December 13, 2019 at the age of 93 years. She was a real, honest blessing to her family, close friends, and everyone she met.
Earlene moved to Farrell, Pennsylvania with her family in 1930 and lived there most of her childhood. Her mother re-married a wonderful husband and father, James McNeal (“Pop”), from Little Rock, Arkansas in 1938. Together they raised their daughters; Earlene’s older sister became her new best friend. The family moved to Jamestown, New York and Earlene received her high school diploma from Jamestown High School in 1944. After graduation she returned to Farrell, Pennsylvania and married Jesse L. Wayne at Greater Morris Chapel A. M. E. Church in 1949. Together they had two children before divorcing.
She attended nursing school in Washington, D.C during the heat of the Civil Rights Era and she participated in the sit-in demonstrations between 1960-1961 to protest discrimination and segregation. She returned home to Jamestown, New York where she met her husband, Charles Thompson from Monongahela, Pennsylvania. Together, they moved to Rochester, New York for better work opportunities and raised their children. Their home was filled with friends, love, cheer, good conversation, and always the best food to eat.
Earlene was the first Black person to become a Quality Inspector at Stromberg Carlson/General Dynamics in Rochester, New York in 1960’s and she retired after 20 years of service in the 1980’s. She continued to work helping people and was named “Person of the Year” for her performance at Henry W. Richards Southwest Gardens Memorial Center in Farrell, Pennsylvania in 1988.
To be closer to her two children, whom she adored, Earlene and her mother moved to Menifee, California in 1998. She continued to nurture, with motherly love, her family in Pennsylvania and provided guidance while keeping close ties.
Due to her strong faith in God and love for the church throughout her lifetime, Earlene maintained an active membership in the A.M.E. church. In 1940 and again in 1991, she joined Greater Morris Chapel A.M.E. Church in Farrell, Pennsylvania where she served as Trustee (1987), Treasurer of the Harriet B. Wright Missionary Society (1992-1994), and Vice-President of the Gospel Choir (1992-1994). . In 1955, she became a member of Blackwell Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church in Jamestown, New York. In 1961, she joined Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church in Rochester, New York and served as Sunday School Teacher She became an active part of a very loving church family at Bethel AME Church in Perris, California in 1999. She became a member of the choir with her beautiful, soprano voice and served as Treasurer.
Earlene will always be remembered as a strong, spiritual woman who was the true matriarch of her family. She was dedicated to serving the Lord. In all her ways, she was strong and dependable as a wife, mother, and provider. She believed in higher education and supported her children and family in their educational pursuits. She was smart and wise; she never failed to tell you the truth even when you didn’t really want to know! Professionally, she was a Quality Inspector and an innovative problem-solver! She had a quick, witty sense of humor that got better with age. She was more fun at 93 years old. She had jokes that were funny and could always make you laugh! Earlene was young at heart and always ready to try something new! And for all of these reasons and more, you really had to love her! The Lord must have said, “Oh Happy Day!” when He welcomed her into heaven!
She loved people and having fun! She loved to crochet and was famous for her intricate quilts that were beautiful. She made many quilts or other crochet projects which she gave away to family and friends. She loved to plant gardens filled with vegetables. She enjoyed doing all types of yardwork. She love to play Scrabble and cards. And she really loved soul food and a good bowl of soup!
Earlene was dearly loved and leaves a lasting memory to cherish to her children, nieces, nephews, and many other family members. She cherished many friends in California, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and New York who were also like family.
The family of Earlene Thompson thanks you for the many acts of loving kindness shown to us during our bereavement. Your thoughtfulness is deeply appreciated and will always be remembered.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Earlene Ann Thompson, please visit our floral store.