With sadness, we report the passing of Norrene Thompson, an important figure in the history of the Oregon Master Gardener Program and the Clackamas County Master Gardener Association.
In 1975, Norrene’s husband Gray Thompson established the Master Gardener program in Clackamas County. From that time forward, the Thompson’s served as the “First Couple” of the Master Gardener program in Oregon.
Upon retiring in 1985, Norrene took the Master Gardener volunteer training and was an active Master Gardener volunteer for over 30 years. With a background as a home economics teacher, Norrene chaired the food committee for the Spring Garden Fair, a big job. She served as a liaison between the Clackamas Master Gardener Association and the Milwaukie Center, the long-time home for the chapter. Norrene served as chapter secretary and treasurer and also helped to establish a chapter mentoring program.
In 1995, Norrene and Gray were acknowledged as “An Honored Pair” and in 2005 the pair were recognized as State Master Gardeners of the year.
Gray Thompson passed away in 2012. The Thompson’s are survived by their daughter Noel Sullivan (herself a Master Gardener), son Linn; son-in-law Tom; daughter-in-law, Terrie; grandchildren, Jonn and Marco; and great-grandchildren, Jackson, Mylo and Connor.
A fitting tribute to Gray and Norrene Thompson
The Clackamas County Chapter of the Oregon Master Gardeners Association made an initial gift to the Extension Education Center fundraising program ($50,000).
The chapter has requested the naming rights for the Master Gardener Clinic in the new building—to be called the Gray and Norrene Thompson Master Gardener Clinic.
The Clackamas Extension Education Center will be located in Oregon City near our current office. Construction begins in 2020.
Memorial service for Norrene
Norrene’s memorial service will be held Saturday, November 9 at 2:00pm at the Moreland Presbyterian Church (1814 SE Bybee, Portland).
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Clackamas County Master Gardeners or Moreland Church.