Joan Yvonne Clark (Newman) Thompson

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Joan Yvonne Clark (Newman) Thompson

December 10, 1928 - March 13, 2019

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.
Published on March 14, 2019
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20 posts

Karen McFadyen Christofi
Mar 19, 2019
What a wonderfully gifted and loving woman. She will be truly missed by those she loved.
Lynda Duplissea
Mar 18, 2019
I met Joan when I began teaching in Calais Maine. Her kindness and dedication to the children are what I will remember about her professionally. Her classroom came second only to her family. My sincere sympathy to the Thompson family. — Lynda Duplissea
Paul Giovino, Patrick McCaffery, and everyone at Maersk Line, Limited
Mar 18, 2019
Your friends and colleagues at Maersk Line, Limited are thinking of you and offering you hope and comfort.
Walter Roberts
Mar 17, 2019
Dear Larry and family IExtend my sympathy to you all. Your mom was a very special lady. Was glad to have known her.
Mar 16, 2019
So sorry to hear of the death of your mother and grandmother. May God bring you peace and comfort.
Frank Lawrence Clark III, and Meaghan
Mar 15, 2019
We are sorry to hear of Joan's passing. We offer our condolences to the family.
John Gough
Mar 15, 2019
My deepest sympathies to Joan's family.. Her laugh and gentle nature are something I'll always remember. Rest in Peace, Ma
Eleanor Clark
Mar 15, 2019
Joan and Sam were very special customers of ours at Clark's Variety. When they won the
lottery they were more than willing to give
to me to help out with the Milltown basketball court. They were always interested to help out with anything to do with our youth. A great couple.
Bonnie Johnson
Mar 15, 2019
I always loved talking to Joan! She was a very smart and loving woman! I remember her as a teacher in Calais and when she watched Sam Bell! She will be missed by many!
Nancy chick Steele
Mar 15, 2019
Our family had absolutely nothing after our house burned on Spring Street. Your parents graciously allowed the Chicks to stay in the house they owned on Germain St. rent for for a least until our new house was built. I don’t know what we would have done had your parents not stepped in to help us. I know that I speak for us all when I say how thankful we were for the kindness shown. I loved how your mom always greeted me with such warmth as she made me feel very special. She never walked past me ever without commenting on my shiny black hair that she loved. I know you are going to miss her tremendously. She was a beautiful lady inside and out!
dean pike
Mar 15, 2019
Very sad to hear this. She and my mother ,Lois Parker Pike ( also from Lubec) both taught in Calais and were good friends.
Kelli Ramsdell (Hubble)
Mar 15, 2019
So sad to hear of Joan's passing, she was a remarkable woman whom I'm lucky to have met when I moved to Calais in 1988 and attended Calais Middle School. Joan always had a smile for everyone she encountered and many words of wisdom as well. Thank you for taking an interest in me. Rest easy Joan, you will be missed.
Dori Valley
Mar 15, 2019
I have very fond memories of teaching alongside Joan for quite a few years at CMS. She was part of a group of us that met together once a month to play Trivial Pursuit! We picked teams and played for a few hours. We also did a lot of talking, laughing and eating! Many blessings to the family! She was very proud of all of you.
Patricia L Manship
Mar 15, 2019
Wonderful lady ,always asked about my son Larry and what he was doing ! The kids all loved her !! My deepest condolences to the family !RIP !!
Maurice Brown
Mar 15, 2019
Maurice Brown
Growing up in Grand Lake Stream I had the pleasure of knowing Joan and Sam Thompson. Joan was my school teacher and a great friend who later in life became my wife mentor in Special Education in Calais. Her son in law Jack Brown and I were good friend and played sports together in high school. She never judged me and we had many laughs over the years. Being a teen ager in Grand Lake stream growing up with her daughters Brenda and Shelby. She taught me some valuable lessons, one being never hide my beer in her culvet because Sam loved our Budweiser beer. Every time I saw Joan would put a smile on my face because of the great memories of a wonderful family in Grand Lake Stream. J
...oan got my attention in school because she had a paddle which I thought had my name on it. I will miss seeing Joan on Facebook. RIP to my Favorite teacher Joan Thompson.Read more
Sue O'Brien McIver
Mar 15, 2019
So sorry for your loss. Joan was such a Great teacher and inspiration to all. She will always have a special place in my heart as she made such a difference in my life. You were so blessed to have her.You are in my thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.
Amy Barnard
Mar 15, 2019
My thoughts and prayers are with all of Mrs. Thompson’s family she was a beautiful woman inside and out.
Lorraine Beal
Mar 15, 2019
Condolences to the family...Being brought up in Princeton and living in Grand Lake Stream, Sam and Joanne always had those sweet smiles for everyone...
calvin kidder
Mar 15, 2019
a very special lady no matter were she saw you she would take time to stop and talk I will miss her
Lucy Baker
Mar 15, 2019
I had Joan for my 6th grade teacher and I loved her. She was amazing and loved to laugh. She told us in class if we got to school early and it was snowing or raining towalk up the fire escape and knock on her classroom door and she would let us in. Many times I knocked on her door and she greeted me with a big smile and let me in. She was always quick to give a hug or pat on the back. When I graduated from Calais Memorial High School, because of Joan I became a teacher. My classes, over the years, would ask me who my favorite teacher was and I always told them Mrs Thompson and why. Joan was not just my teacher, she was my friend. I once told her I taught like her. I hugged my kids and taught... 2 generations. I told them I loved them and I laughed with them. Joan made a difference to me and I loved her and told her I did, many times. She was an amazing teacher and friend. I had a 37 year teaching career, thanks to Joan. God took an angel home and I was blessed to know her.Read more