Shrewsbury – Dorothy “Dot” Thompson, 91, widow of Preston Thompson, passed away Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. She was a resident of Southgate at Shrewsbury, and formerly of Westborough.
Born June 16, 1925 in Waltham, she was the daughter of Francis and Ruth (Rogers) Dunn.
Dorothy attended the Hickox Secretarial School and was employed as a stenographer at the New England Telephone Company in Boston where she met her husband, Preston.
Dot and Preston first lived on the North Shore where they built a home in Marblehead. They relocated to Westborough in 1957 where they raised their family of six. In 1964, they moved their family to Westborough’s historical “Poor Farm,” formerly a working farm across the street from the town reservoir that had been converted to a multi-family home.
Dot and Preston worked on the house and its surrounding gardens for many years. The family loves that home and it still remains in the family, maintained and cared for in the capable hands of Dot’s son, Ned.
Dot was at heart, a gardener, a painter, and an artist. In her 60s she became a student of Chilean refugee and renowned artist Jaime Alphonso, and a serious painter in her own right.
From her husband, Preston, Dot learned to love the beauty of the outdoors. Their Bowman street home became a canvas for both Dot and Preston’s love of the rhythm of New England seasons. The soil there was ideal for Dot, who loved getting her hands in the dirt. She planted hollyhocks and bushes to attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Dot planted wisteria and Peter’s pipe dot along the farm porches of the house to provide shelter for song birds. She dug up and transplanted birch saplings from the edge of the woods, and placed them as a focal point in a perennial garden. And, she loved Chinese red maple trees for the contrast they created in the landscape.
Dot felt a love for stone in her bones. When a farm up the road had an ample supply of fieldstone to remove, she brought them home. Today at Bowman Street, there is the beautiful stone wall in front of the house, initiated by her vision. Stones, shells, and driftwood collected along the beach did on occasion become elements in her gardens and in her paintings. She was also an eager traveler, which she did both actually and did in equal measure between the covers of books.
Dot was a member of St. Luke the Evangelist Church of Westborough, St Luke’s Seniors, the Westborough Garden Club, the Writer’s Group of Shrewsbury Senior Center, and the Westborough Women’s Club. She enjoyed bridge, traveling, reading, and spending time with her family and friends. She was especially fond of Sand Hills Beach in Scituate.
Dorothy is survived by her six children, Janet Thompson and Art Weber of Westport Island, Maine, Paula and Jay Berger of North Hills, Calif., Nick and Joan Thompson of Framingham, Margot Thompson of Worcester, Edward “Ned” Thompson of Westborough, Robert “Rod” Thompson and Christine Lavelle of Westborough; 12 grandchildren, Conor Thompson and Cally Robertson of Los Angeles, Karl Weber and Jennette Mullaney of Brooklyn, N.Y., Joel Weber of Boston, Carissa Berger of North Hills, Calif., Greg Berger of Scottsdale, Ariz., Kathleen and David Byrne of Boston, Elizabeth and William Stafford of Washington, D.C., Kevin Thompson and fiancé Meghan Dunn of Watertown, Sarah Lavelle and Joshua Hawk of Landenberg, Pa., Casey Lavelle Garcia and Carlos Garcia of Niantic, Conn., James Lavelle of Westborough, Maggie Lavelle and Adam Hill of Worcester; three great grandchildren, Finnegan Thomas Weber, Anneli Kathleen Stafford, and Jason Jeremy Cross; as well as many nieces and nephews. She was the sister of the late Francis A. Dunn, Jr.
Her Funeral Mass will be celebrated Saturday, Nov. 5, at 10 a.m., at St. Luke the Evangelist Church, 70 West Main St., Westborough. There will be no calling hours. A private burial will be held at a later date in Newton Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, gifts in memory of Dorothy Thompson may be made to the Westborough Garden Club, PO Box 74, Westborough, MA 01581 or to the Westborough Public Library, Library Administration Department, 55 West Main St., Westborough, MA 01581.