As the wife of longtime Vincentown Mayor Robert L. Thompson, Helen Wills Thompson mostly stayed behind the town's political scene and did her own thing.
Mrs. Thompson, 84, of Southampton, was a longtime trustee for the Sally Stretch Keen Memorial Library and the Harriet Irick Nursing Foundation, who helped out in various community organizations and events.
Mrs. Thompson died at home Monday, May 31, shortly after attending the town's Memorial Day parade.
After being the first lady of Vincentown for three decades, Mrs. Thompson loved going to every parade and big community event in the Southampton-Vincentown area.
The Memorial Day parade was "a big thing for her," her son Robert Lee said. "She always had to look good."
Jeans and a T-shirt were not an option for Mrs. Thompson. She could be seen in public only with her best blouse and pants, a nice pair of shoes, and a sports coat.
Her family found her vanity somewhat ironic, her son said, because she grew up in a house full of blueberry farmers and sport-shooters in Chatsworth, where she was born.
Mrs. Thompson graduated in 1944 from Pemberton High School, where she met her future husband. The couple married in 1950.
Mrs. Thompson was a secretary to the commanding general at Fort Dix from her high school graduation until she had her first child in 1955, her son said.
An avid reader and a library lover, she joined the board of trustees of the Keen Library in Vincentown in 1959 and stayed on for many years.
Once her son was older, she returned to work part time as a bookkeeper for area companies, he said.
But she spent most of her time volunteering. She often cooked or helped organize events at the Pine Belt Sportsman's Club. She also spent a lot of time helping out and writing bulletins for Vincentown Methodist Church, her son said.
During election years, she was busy helping with her husband's campaigns. He died in 1996.
In addition to her son, Mrs. Thompson is survived by four grandchildren and a sister.
Calling hours will begin at 9:30 a.m. Friday, June 4, at Vincentown First Methodist Church, where a funeral will follow at 11. Burial will be at the Odd Fellows Cemetery, Pemberton.