Elizabeth M. Thompson (Libbye), 98, of Lakeland, passed away on November 18, 2018. She was born in Lakeland on April 8, 1920 to the late Dean and Hallie McGinnes.
Libbye grew up on Mississippi Avenue. She attended Lake Morton Elementary School, and graduated from Lakeland High School. She continued her education at Stetson University, earning a Bachelor in Mathematics. During college, Libbye was part of the Glee Club, Zeta Tau Alpha, and Phi Beta (Honorary Music).
In 1943, she joined the Navy Waves, completing her basic training at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, MA. She was assigned to the Supply Core, and spent 3 years at Radcliff College in Cambridge, MA, studying payroll and accounting. From Massachusetts, Libbye was transfered to the Naval Air Station in San Diego, CA. While stationed there, she met Paul Nachol, the lead tenor for the Chicago Opera Company. They became great friend through their love of the Arts. Libbye sang with the Navel Dance Band, played piano and organ for Sunday services, and performed shows for injured service men. She worked her way up to Lieutenant through her hard work and dedication.
After the Navy, Libbye furthered her musical education at Marshall College, and graduated from the Cincinnati Conservatory with a degree in Music. Libbye performed for many years at the Ocala Civic Theater, in plays like “Never too Late” and Fiddler on the Roof”, and was a Music Director for the Christian Church in Deland, Presbyterian Church in Madison, and the Baptist Church in Plant City. Libbye was a member of the Lakeland Choral Society at Southern College, Chaplin of the Tuesday Music Club, and President of the Newcomers Club. She loved to teach Music, but she also taught Math, Spanish, and Physics. After moving into The Estates at Carpenters in 2003, Libbye volunteered her time to play piano and organ for request on Fridays at the Villas, and sang in their choir.
Libbye met her husband Ken Thompson while teaching summer camp in Ridgecrest, North Carolina in 1951. They were married for 52 years, and loved to travel the world, taking many cruises to faraway places. She loved puzzles, reading, bridge, crossword puzzles, and taking walks with her family and friends.
Libby is survived by her daughter; Betsy Irby of Lakland, FL, grandchildren; Hollie Irby, Alycia Minnis, and Andy Irby of Lakeland, FL, great-grandchildren; Anna, Tristen, Bram, Landon and Lincoln of Lakeland, FL, two sister-in-laws; Mary Ellen Casavona and Annie Thompson both of Amite, LA.
Her Husband, Ken Thompson, daughter, Becky Thompson, son, Kenion A. Thompson, II, brothers, Clyde McGinnes and Willard McGinnes precedes her in death.
Libbye spent her life teaching and caring for others, she will be truly missed. Visitation will be held at Lakeland Funeral Home on Thurs. Nov. 29 from 10-11 am. Libbye’s memorial service will be at The Estates at Carpenters, 1001 Carpenters Way, from 2-4pm on Thurs, Nov.29. In Lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the charity of your choice.