Irene Thompson was born in Southampton, England, to Samuel Robinson and his wife Harriet (Glasscoe).
She is survived by her sister Rita (London, Ont.), and predeceased by her brother Henry (Jim).
From childhood Irene had a gift for music and singing. She won many awards and eventually scholarships to the Royal Academy of Music in London and the Staatliche Hochschule Fur Music in Germany. In 1960 she emigrated to Canada and, a year later, married a young RCAF officer, Alan Thompson, who has been her devoted husband for 56 years.
For 31 years, Irene and Alan lived on or near various military bases in many parts of Canada, and in Europe. They had three children: Eleanor (now in Waynesboro, Virginia), Phillip (and his wife Starr live in Ottawa) and Russell (and his wife Nathalie live in Milton, Ont). Irene and Alan now also have five grandchildren.
For the past 22 years Irene and Alan have made their home in Nanaimo. Through the years Irene has kept up her interest in music, teaching piano and singing, touring as an examiner for the Royal Conservatory of Music and founding and conducting several singing groups.
In Nanaimo, she was the founding conductor of the Island Bel Canto Singers, a women’s choir that is still going strong. She was also a member of the St. Paul’s Anglican Church choir. As well, Irene and Alan were active members of the United Services Institute (USI), and of the Old English Car Club (OECC).
A memorial service for Irene will be held at St. Paul’s Anglican Church, 29 Church Street, Nanaimo, at 2 p.m. Sunda,y January 21st.
Following the service, there will be a reception for family and friends at the Longwood Clubhouse, 5630 Edgewater Lane, Nanaimo.
In lieu of flowers, a donation to the Parkinson’s Society British Columbia is suggested.