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Anne Thompson

Anne Wheeler Thompson (Ridenour)

Friday, October 26th, 1928 - Tuesday, March 31st, 2020
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Obituary

Anne Wheeler Thompson, 91 of Kennebunk, Maine, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, 31 March 2020 at Huntington Common Assisted Living in Kennebunk. She was born Catherine Anne Ridenour, the youngest of four daughters, in Lima, Ohio on 26 October 1928 to pharmacist Chester Eugene Ridenour and homemaker Kathryn Helene (Spannagel) Ridenour. She graduated from Lima High School in 1946 and attended Ohio Northern University in 1947 until marrying childhood friend Richard Steele Wheeler of Lima in May 1948.

They lived in Lima until Wheeler graduated from the US Army Officers Candidate School (OCS), Ft Sill, Oklahoma in 1953. Wheeler served in Japan, Germany and Korea, returning to Ft Sill / Lawton as an instructor at OCS in 1960 with their four children; J Lawrence, Richard Dean, Barbara Roanne and Kathryn Marjene Wheeler.

Anne spent 22 years supporting her husband’s military career as a hostess, event organizer and
wonderful mother of four active children, supporting community football, softball, marching band, sewing costumes and painting stage design for dance concerts, leading scout and guide groups, producing the Lawton beauty pageant with her Beta Sigma Phi sorority sisters and participating with her husband in city bowling leagues. In 1969-70 Anne attended Cameron University receiving a Bachelor of Arts, and became an accomplished artist and arts teacher at Head Start.

Tragically, on 9 August 1965, a family car accident claimed the young lives of children Richard and Kathryn, while Anne sustained a lifelong leg injury. Her courage and determination to soldier on in support of her husband and remaining children were remarkable.

Then the sudden death of her husband on 30 Sept 1970 in an airplane accident, saw Anne move with daughter Barbara to Arlington, VA at the invitation of longtime family friend, LTC Edmund Randall Thompson. They married on 3 December 1971, taking on the not-so-small feat of nurturing a merged family of eight.

Anne’s military experience gave her a second chance to be the perfect first class Army wife to Ed who, over the next 13 years, was promoted to Major General and Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence based at the Pentagon and Ft Myer, VA. Together they traveled the world, representing the US Army Intelligence service, as well as hosted elaborate international events at Ft Myer for overseas counterparts and their families.

MG & Mrs. Thompson retired in 1984 to Kennebunk, Maine to live for more than 30 years in the home they built between the ocean and river, where Anne created a beloved family and friend summer harbor at the beach, as well as beautiful paintings and artwork in her third floor studio.

Anne actively contributed to her community volunteering her time and artistic talent at the Taylor Berry House, Senior Citizens Centre, Southern Maine Medical Centre, Captain Lord Mansion and Kennebunk Historical Society while restoring and painting the Cape Porpoise family lobster trap buoys for the Church on the Cape.

Through tragedy came triumph for the courageous and determined Anne, who loved and supported her family unconditionally. She enjoyed life, donning lipstick, nail polish and jewelry every day. She set a fine example of a strong, beautiful, capable woman and Army wife who never gave up or gave in to adversity. When life gave her lemons, she made lemonade, and it was always, elegantly, the very best.

Anne is survived by her daughter, Barbara Roanne Wheeler Hines (Graham) of Melbourne, Australia; step-sons, Andrew (Patricia) of Herndon, VA, Matthew of Indian Mound, TN, Harry (Laurie) of Clarksville, MD; step-daughter Linda Grignon (Dennis) of Shawano, WI; twelve grandchildren (Ben, Amanda, Daniel, Michael, Lynn, Jason, Brian, Marcus, Alexander, Angela, Julie and Jacob), and eight great grandchildren (Nicholas, Cody, Marcus, Hallie, Lawrence, Genevieve, Theodore and Michaela).

A Funeral Service will be held on a future date (TBD) at Fort Myer Chapel, 204 Lee Avenue, Fort Myer, VA, followed by burial in Arlington National Cemetery next to her husband of nearly 48 years, dear Ed; together again - the ACSI & the MACSI.

To share a memory or leave a message of condolence, please visit Anne’s Book of Memories Page at www.bibberfuneral.com

Arrangements are in care of Bibber Memorial Chapel, 67 Summer Street, Kennebunk, ME. www.bibbermemorial.com
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Service Details

  • Interment

    Location
    Arlington National Cemetery
    Address
    ARLINGTON, VA 22211
A Funeral Service will be held on a future date (TBD) at Fort Myer Chapel, 204 Lee Avenue, Fort Myer, VA, followed by burial in Arlington National Cemetery next to her husband of nearly 48 years, dear Ed; together again - the ACSI & the MACSI.

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