Dolores Thompson, 91, of Boise, ID, passed away on 2 April 2019. Dolores was born March 15, 1928, in Tulsa, OK, to Ethel Jane (Moody) Sloan and Sidney Caval Sloan. She was the eldest of 3 children and the only girl. Because of the Great Depression, the Sloan family moved back to Pittsburg, KS, in 1930, where both the paternal and maternal grandparents lived. Dolores felt she learned much from her grandparents during those difficult years. She attended Eugene Field Grade School, Pittsburg Jr. High and High School, graduating in 1946. She attended Pittsburg State Teachers College and entered Mt. Carmel School of Nursing in 1947. She met Benjamin ‘Ben’ A. Thompson in 1947 over a drug store lunch counter where she worked part time. Student nurses were not allowed to marry, so she and Ben went together for three years. They married two weeks after her 1950 graduation from nursing school and made their first home in Newton, KS. In Newton, son Bruce was born in 1951 and daughter Deborah ‘Debbie’ in 1952. Youngest daughter Susan was born in McMinnville, OR, in 1958.
Dolores followed Ben in his career and always found employment as an RN. During her nursing career, she worked in hospitals, nursing homes, private practice, and as a visiting nurse. Her first job was as an OB/GYN nurse at Axtell Hospital in Newton. During her life, she lived in five states: Kansas, California, Michigan, Oregon, and Idaho. She made each place the family lived “home” and an adventure, with many new places to investigate and learn about. Dolores retired when Ben retired from the US Postal Service in 1988. She had just completed 21 years working for the Ada County Central District Health Department. In retirement, they enjoyed 15 years together traveling, gardening, and boating, where they were active members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary unit at Lucky Peak.
Dolores learned to fish and camp and enjoyed the outdoor life Idaho had to offer. The family always took a special vacation each summer with the children to visit places in the western states and to go home to visit family in Kansas by way of Yellowstone, the Black Hills, Estes Park, and other national parks. Music was important to Dolores, so she had tickets to the Boise Symphony for many years. She and Ben attended the Jazz Festival in Sun Valley from the 2nd year until his health kept them away. They loved dancing and had 57 wonderful years together.
She loved to entertain and to travel. They traveled the USA, Europe, Canada, and Mexico and had friends in many places. The last few years together, they wintered in Tucson and enjoyed activities in the Western Way RV Resort, which was a 50+ retirement community located at the entrance to Saguaro National Park. When visiting their children, they were able to attend Lincoln Center and Broadway shows in NY City and the Kennedy Center in Washington DC on several occasions.
Dolores was active in the American Nursing Association and Beta Sigma Phi Sorority. Dolores also found time to volunteer many hours of service to Elks Rehab, the Old Penitentiary, and the downtown visitors center. She was also an active member of the Red Hat Society and the Philanthropic Education Organization (PEO), where she donated her crafts for fundraising events.
She kept busy with crafts. She loved needlework and was always busy doing needlepoint and counted cross stitch. She was also a very talented pine needle basket maker. I’m sure where ever she is she will be busy with a lot of new places to investigate and learn about.
She leaves her son Bruce Thompson and wife Barbara; daughters Deborah ‘Debbie’ Suehr and Susan Read; granddaughters Jessica Wentworth and Sandra ‘Sandy’ Suehr, and 3 great-grandchildren Ella and Milo Wentworth and Haiden Suehr. Dolores was preceded in death by her parents; spouse Ben Thompson in 2007; brothers William ‘Billy Dan’ and Sidney ‘Sid’ Sloan; and her son-in-law Terry Read. A private family graveside service will be held on Thursday, 6 June 2019, at Morris Hill Cemetery, Boise, under the care of Relyea Funeral Chapel.