Mary A. (Tweet) ThompsonNovember 17, 1927 ~ October 11, 2017 (age 89)
Mary A. Thompson (nee Tweet). Beloved mother of April and Richard Thompson. Dear grandmother of Karin and Sara Thompson and Emily Bertilsson. The family will be fulfilling Mrs. Thompson's wishes and returning her ashes to her beloved Hawaii where she lived and worked for many years. On Saturday, February 3rd, 2018, at 9:00 A.M. her family, assisted by Hawaii Ash Scatterings, will be leaving on a Catamaran to place Mrs. Thompson's ashes into the ocean off of Waikiki Beach.
The boat is the Aloha Kai which is docked at Kewalo Harbor. The harbor address is 1125 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu, HI 96814. The boat's slot is B-14, however Call Cheryl Moses, (808) 664-5493, at Hawaii Ash Scatterings to confirm the boat's slip as there is construction going on at the harbor and the boat may be moved.The boat should be leaving the harbor for the sea in front of Waikiki Beach around 9am
Born one of nine siblings to a poor farming family in North Dakota, Mom was raised on the lessons and rewards of hard work. Her mentor was her own mom who toiled from dawn to dusk and beyond to provide a stable, well-fed home environment for her brood. Because this was a farming family it also included a few of Grandma’s in-laws. One of Mom’s most vibrant memories of her mother was of her singing as she worked. Mind you, this was no Disney movie. This was Grandma’s response to her mother-in-law’s constant criticism of her. (Apparently, it was Grandma’s fault that she was not born Norwegian.) Mom admired her mother’s courage and determination to make the best of whatever life threw at you, and throughout her life she embodied this sentiment.
Mom was fifteen when the family moved to the city of Spokane, Washington. At this time, the only relative living with them was Mom’s favorite, her Uncle Alfred. Mom’s memories are of him being the quiet in the storm of arguing adults back on the farm. He was a safe place amidst the chaos.
In high school, and in the city, Mom knew she could find work that would help with her parents’ burden, and provide her with many of the necessities of a young adult. So, she began working as a waitress at age sixteen. She would have started working earlier but employers were hesitant to hire her, as she looked much younger than her age.
When Mom married Daddy, she continued working as a waitress. We lived in Spokane, Washington (where Richard and I were born), and then later, after the divorce, moved to Eureka, California. Back in those days (the 50s and early 60s), and those areas, waitressing was somewhat of a seasonal profession. A lot of her income was dependent on local associations throwing banquet events. So, wanting there to be more job security in her life, she signed up for college. However, she found a more immediate fix to stabilizing her income when her brother-in-law, who was in the Air Force, got stationed in Hawaii with his family. Knowing Hawaii could offer her stable, year-round work as a waitress; Mom took advantage of her family’s assistance in relocating us to this beautiful place. (Which I will be forever grateful.) Her first job in Hawaii was as a cocktail waitress at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel.
Mom worked as a waitress for forty-five years. Many of these years were at Duke Kahanamoku’s in the International Market Place. This was during the time Don Ho was performing there. She would bring home stories to us kids about which celebrities had been there and an occasional autograph. And, for two decades, she worked across Kalakaua Avenue from Waikiki Beach. (Literally, right across the street. You could see that beautiful beach and ocean through the glass doors of The Surf restaurant.)
Mom never achieved her goal of a college education, but both of her children did, and we thank her for encouraging us to do so as it has made quite a difference in our lives. My brother continued on for a doctoral degree.
Mom loved to cook and schooled her children well in this kitchen art. My brother is especially talented in the culinary arts taking them well beyond the homey venue of Mom’s kitchen. He is always the head chef at any and all of our family affairs he attends. (We insist!) My claim to kitchen fame is baking bread for the church bazaar at age twelve.
Mom always encouraged her children to follow our dreams. My brother started traveling the world straight out of high school. He worked and financed these travels on his own. And, I loved horses! When we found that we lived a very short walk from a small, private stable, Mom borrowed money from the bank to buy me a horse I had fallen in love with. This may sound excessive considering our situation, but I finally learned responsibility in a very big way. A few years later, Mom and I were side-by-side sewing 3-piece Western suits for me as I represented Hawaii in the Miss Rodeo America Pageant.
Mom always made it clear how proud she was of her children. However, we couldn’t help but make her proud when she was such an awesome example of unbiased ideals, unconditional love and quiet strength. She always gave, even when she did not have enough to give. I feel like the greatest gift Mom has given her children was the one she had received from her own mother, and that is her heart. Though gifts from Mom were always unconditional, the only repayment possible for such a gift is to walk in her footsteps. As Mom did.
Besides her two children, Mary leaves behind a daughter-in-law whom she dearly loved. Mary first met Margareta when she was 25 and they were an important part of each other’s lives for over 40 years. Margareta has many fond memories of Mary who showed her that life could be looked at in many different ways; maybe there were even situations when one could eat dessert first and not feel bad about it.
She also left behind three granddaughters, Sara, Karin and Emily, of whom she was very fond. Sara and Karin, who were born in Honolulu, spent the first two years with Mary as a close part of their life. She would take them with her to some coffee shop or restaurant every afternoon to relax after work. Going alone to a coffee shop with two infants would probably not be most people’s idea of relaxation, but she knew so many people working in this branch that she would usually engage most of the staff in keeping them busy. When they for the first time after leaving Honolulu, as two year olds, saw a McDonalds sign they lite up as it reminded them of Grandma! All the girls have memories of things such as baking cookies (usually in the middle of the night) and hearing endless stories. The stories were of bygone times, usually with no beginning or end, and impossible to know if what was being told happened 6 or 60 years ago. But fascinating never less, as it was a world very different than theirs.