Eileen Thompson, 92, died on Thursday, February 22, 2018 at ValleyCare and Rehab in Barnesville, MN.
Mass of Christian Burial will be 11:00 AM, Monday, February 26, 2018 at Assumption Catholic Church in Barnesville, MN with Father Gary LaMoine presiding.
Visitation will be 5-8 PM, Sunday, February 25, 2018 with a Prayer Service at 7:00 PM at Dobmeier Funeral Home in Barnesville, MN. Visitation will continue for one hour prior to the funeral service on Monday.
Eileen Bulik was born on February 27, 1925 to Joseph and Gladys (Stevenson) Bulik in Barnesville, MN. She grew up and attended country school through the 8th grade and continued at Barnesville High School for two years. She ventured to Minneapolis during WWII and worked in a plant where they built and modified airplanes for the war effort.
She was united in marriage to Earl Randolph Thompson on July 16, 1947 in Granite Falls, MN. They made their home in Barnesville, MN. They lived on a farm north of Barnesville where the original Thompson Greenery began in 1963. They relocated to the north edge of Barnesville in 1968 and built where the current Thompson Greenery operates. In the 1960’s and early 70’s, Eileen and Earl operated the Side Pocket on Main Street in Barnesville. She was proud of being the first woman school bus driver in Barnesville. Eileen had an entrepreneurial side, and held a patent for weather stripping she designed. She worked countless hours, whether it be on the farm, at one of the businesses she operated, or raising her family. Eileen was a humble and caring woman. Assumption Church was very important to Eileen and she was instrumental in co-chairing, with Sis Montplaisir, the fund raising at the Western Steam Threshers Reunion at Rollag. Thanks to their effort, it continues to be a major fund raiser for the church.
Eileen had many hobbies throughout her lifetime. She enjoyed sewing, making and adapting her own patterns. She enjoyed bowling, card playing, cribbage up until a week ago, and obviously gardening.
She is survived by four children: Michael (Judi) Thompson, Ramsey, MN, James (Kate Blowers) Thompson, British Columbia and Florida, Ruth (Darrel) Thomas, Barnesville, MN, JoAnn (Chris Orel) Thompson, Stilwell, KS, seven grandchildren: MayAnn Severud, Troy Thompson, Nick Thompson, Chrystal Hukriede, Rikki Knutson, Isaac Thomas, Mara Thomas, and many nieces, nephews, and friends.
She was preceded in death by her husband, daughters Mary and Barbara, her parents, three siblings: David Bulik, Elizabeth Tschakert, and Joseph “Bobby” Bulik.
A tribute from Granddaughter Mara...
Thank you all for joining us to celebrate the life of my grandmother, Eileen.
Anyone who knew Eileen knows she was a complete force of nature. Adventurous. Intelligent. Creative. Hilarious. My grandma had an astounding mind -- a true basement/garage tinkerer. There was nothing she couldn't take apart and put back together. Nothing she couldn't learn or figure out or improve over endless pots of coffee. To know my grandma was to know that you never called her or came over to visit before noon, as she was probably up until the wee hours the night before trying to sew that zipper in the way she wanted it or making sure the fabric pattern came together just so. As a family, we know how lucky we are that she retained her sharp mind and quick wit until the very end.
To list all the gifts my grandma passed along to me would be impossible. One day in 1962 she decided to put a sheet of plastic over a picnic table and grow a few geraniums. Little did she know that this idea would continue to grow for more than 55 years. It would go on to shape my parents' lives, my life, and the lives of so many people in Barnesville and beyond who experience joy in their gardens.
In addition, my grandma shared with me a few of her many talents in the kitchen. I learned how to make lefse in her kitchen. A few years ago she sent me her handwritten donut recipe, faded with age and use, which included scale-up measurements should I find myself needing to make 24 dozen donuts. If I ever asked her where she was when a momentous cultural event occurred, she invariably answered that she was doing one of these two tasks. An example:
"Grandma, where were you when they walked on the moon?"
"Oh, probably makin' donuts at the church."
My grandma loved to laugh. She loved to play cards but not as much as she loved to win at cards. She loved to listen to baseball on the radio -- the Twins, of course, but even moreso the RedHawks. Grandma loved her pets. She loved her friends. She adored her family. She always paid attention to what the weather was doing in our different locations.
Above all, when I think of my grandma what comes to mind is a person who has never, and I mean never, compromised herself to fit someone else’s view of who she should be. She had her own, distinct way of being. She definitely had her own way of doing things and she wasn't shy about letting you know her way was better. I can't imagine a situation where my grandma ever needed or sought out someone's approval. Her will was enough and whatever happened, she could figure it out. My grandma wouldn't have been half the person she was if she hid her talents and personality. If I could pick one thing to carry with me to continue my grandma's legacy, it would be this.
A Tribute from Laurie
Eileen – 2/22/18
In memory of Eileen and in celebration of her life, I offer these memories, I highlight her many attributes and I extend these genuine wishes that she “transition to the angels” in the good fashion she deserves.
In many ways, Eileen was a woman of strength. She demonstrated strength in her ability to raise her children - instilling in each of them her goodness, her selflessness and willingness to offer anyone a helping hand and support.
She demonstrated strength and tenacity as she initiated a successful self-established business which was yet another example of her ability to connect family, friends and the community.
Eileen was a “good soul” & a strong person of faith – her strength in faith was continually visible in her thoughts and actions. She was a perfect example of what most of us only strive to do – that is – to “live our faith”. She was known to have made her own beautiful rosaries and distribute them to people as a gesture for others to gain strength. (Thank you, my friend for my beautiful rosary that I promise to re-learn how to navigate). Throughout her life, Eileen gave graciously to her family, her friends, her church and the community.
Eileen possessed many valued attributes – she was a tremendously hard worker – one of those “behind the scenes” gals who possessed the ideas, willfulness and tenacity to make things happen.
She was one of the most humble people I have ever known. It was never important for her to highlight her own accomplishments; instead, she somehow downplayed her personal contributions and highlighted those of others.
Her attribute of wisdom cannot be understated. Who other than Eileen would you go to for ideas, helpful tips or insight? Well – of course – it was Eileen who earned the title of “The Encyclopedia” – the gal that had the grounded answer, the insight for solving a problem or the tip for you to gain your own insight. Finally, the resiliency she demonstrated throughout her life was extra-ordinary. Having lost 2 beautiful daughters and her husband during her lifetime, Eileen still summoned the faith & strength to move beyond anger, grief and sorrow to live her life to the fullest.
I’ve always thought it sad that we sometimes wait until someone passes to highlight their attributes, - or that we wait to thank them for their good deeds – or hesitate to send them only the best of wishes and outcomes.
So, Eileen – - it is in this time I may still feel the strength of your soul, I thank you for the many things you did for me, the kind words you offered, the knowledge and insight you extended and most importantly, the genuine hope and prayers that you may rest in peace with Barb, Mary and Earl. May the angels of heaven sing the praises of your soul & welcome you to heaven!! God Bless you my inspiration, my mentor and my “mom-like” friend.