Mary Veronis Thompson, a 50-plus-year resident of Chatham, fell asleep in the Lord on January 28, 2023, in Linwood, NJ, surrounded by family. She was universally loved by everyone who met her, including family across the country and in Europe.
Mary was born to Nikolaos Emmauel and Angeliki Eufthymakis Vrionakis (Vreonis, later Veronis), on October 26, 1921, in New Brunswick. Her parents were newly arrived from Crete, Greece. Five children followed. Mary was the leader everyone looked up to. She was quick-minded, translating as her parents adapted to America and navigated multiple moves around northern New Jersey. Mary had attended 11 schools in 13 years when she graduated second in her 8th grade class in Paterson. In the 1930s the family relocated to Easton, PA, where Mary graduated from Easton High School. Mary’s going to college, studying biology and chemistry, graduating from Moravian College in 1942 – inspired every Veronis to go to college.
Mary worked as a medical technician from 1942-1944 before joining the information group at General Aniline & Film Corporation (GAF) in Easton where she met and married the love of her life, Henry Theron (“Cy”) Thompson in 1945. They had two children before spending a decade in New Jersey and upstate New York. Two more children followed. The family moved to Chatham in 1962 and Mary obtained a Masters in Library Science from Rutgers in 1966. She was the Brayton School librarian in Summit for more than 20 years and spent another 20 years volunteering in the Saint Elizabeth’s College Library. In retirement Mary wrote a family history – a prototype 1920s immigrant story – which her nephew Niko made into a video. Mary and Cy enjoyed traveling; Canada, Europe and Cy’s family in Utah were favored destinations. Mary was a Sunday School teacher and Philoptochos member at Sts. Constantine and Helen Orthodox parish in Orange and an anchor of a classical book club. She swam at Copper Springs into her 80s.
Mary is remembered for her brilliant mind, encyclopedic interests, cheerfulness and infinite kindness. Her cooking was legendary. Her hospitality was boundless; her Chatham home always had visitors. Mary hosted Fresh Air children in 3 states over 25 years. She was an instant friend to everyone, drawn to people in need, listening to their stories, helping materially when she could.
Mary was predeceased by her husband in 2005. She is survived by four children: Anne; Peter (Mary); Andrew (Maryann); Mark (Angela), five grandchildren and dozens of nieces and nephews.