Joan Yvonne Clark (Newman) Thompson


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Kennebunk - In the midst of an early winter storm on December 10, 1928, Joan Yvonne entered this world. Her father, George Clark, trudged the shoreline from the West Quoddy Coast Guard Station for three days before arriving home in Lubec to see his wife, Zelma, and their new daughter. Joan departed this life on Wednesday March 13, 2019 at her own home in Kennebunk, Maine fully surrounded by family after a brief illness followed by rehab. Her 90 years and three months encompassed a world of change.

During WWII her family moved frequently following her father's Coast Guard career. She started school in Lubec, moved to Southwest Harbor, then Cape Elizabeth, and returned to graduate from Lubec High School in 1947. In her youth she loved dancing and singing. Although she was 5'11' sports were not her thing.

Joan started at Washington State Teachers College in Machias, Maine when her second child began kindergarten. She graduated in 1966, one year ahead of that same daughter's college graduation. She went on to earn two Masters Degrees.

On June 29, 1957 she married Samuel H. Thompson Jr. of Northfield, Maine. They lived one year in Princeton before settling in Grand Lake Stream where she taught grades 5 through 8 in the two room schoolhouse. She and Sam then ran the Pine Tree Store and raised their family.

In 1965 the family moved to Milltown, Maine and then Calais where she taught Elementary grades and Special Education. She taught her own children in the elementary level. In summers Joan was a Front Line Immigration Inspector on the Ferry Point International Bridge.

Wherever she worked she found people to enjoy and to laugh and joke with. She had an amazing memory until her final hours and could remember everyone and how they were connected. She relished those memories. Joan knew her ancestors as well, and could repeat their lineage, even all 10 children of some and who they married. Her Facebook friends will miss her "likes", especially regarding anything "twin."

She was an original Jeopardy fan and watched it from its inception with Art Flemming at noon time during her lunch break from the Academy Street School in Calais. She influenced many in her circle to do the same.

When Joan retired in 1989 she travelled to Europe with two of her girls and took a tumble down the Tower of Pisa, causing its increased tilt perhaps? She took a trip to Ireland and cruised to Hawaii, Alaska, the Caribbean, and the Panama Canal. She also took on the role of babysitter to Kathy and Eddie Bell's newborn son, Sam, and the Bells became like a second family.

After her husband, Sam's, death in March, 1997, Joan moved to Orono to be closer to the 2 children there and to her youngest grandchildren. When Larry's family moved to Kennebunk, Maine they found a house with an in-law apartment for her. She happily spent her final days there surrounded by family and her Healthcare companion, Jen Donahue and the family dog, Annie.

Joan was predeceased by her parents, George and Zelma Clark; brothers Frank and Doug Clark; an infant sister; and two grandsons, Scott Brown and David Thompson in 2001.

She is survived by 6 children, Brenda Brown Shaw of Brewer and Grand Lake Stream, Maine, Shelby Driscoll and husband, Tom, of Windham, Maine, Cindy Newton and husband, David, of Milton, New Hampshire, Brent Thompson and wife, Susan, of Naples, Florida, Paula Thompson and Robert Harrell of Suffolk, Virginia, and Dr. Lawrence D. Thompson and wife, Jennifer, of Kennebunk, Maine; 10 grandchildren, Scott and Mark Brown, Dr. Michael Driscoll, Tony and Leah Driscoll, Jeffrey Poirier, David Thompson, Samuel Gough, Grace and Joseph Thompson; granddog and companion, Annie; 11 great-grandchildren, 4 great-great-grandchildren; nephew, Dale A. Clark, niece, Patty Blake, and nephew, Steven Clark.

There will be no funeral services as she considered her 90th birthday party last December to be her "Celebration of Life." She was deeply touched and overwhelmed with happiness by the number of guests and the beauty of it all. She loved getting her birthday cards and each one brightened her day. The family will hold a private graveside service at Lubec's Corey Cemetery in the spring.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to: Good Shepherd Food Bank, 3121 Hotel Road, Auburn, Maine 04210 and designate "for Washington County in memory of Joan Thompson."

To share a memory or leave a message of condolence, please visit Joan's Book of Memories page at

Arrangements are in care of Bibber Memorial Chapel, 67 Summer Street, Kennebunk, ME 04043.
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Published on March 14, 2019
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