Obituary: Catherine R. Thompson

Beloved mother, missionary, teacher, volunteer

Catherine R. Thompson, 88, of Claremont, died peacefully on August 25, in the company of her sons.

Born in 1933, Cathy (as her friends called her) was a career United Methodist missionary in Japan for 35 years before moving to Pilgrim Place in the late 1990s. Prior to her move, she spent time as a volunteer in Honolulu.

She was married in the late 1950s, one year before being appointed to Japan as a missionary couple by the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church. She and her husband served in Japan for 29 years, in a variety of assignments in Hiroshima and Tokyo, until his untimely death in the late 1990s. Following her husband’s passing, she and her youngest son stayed on for several more years in Japan before retiring. During these years, she continued in her English teaching position at a high school associated with a major Christian university, and worked at the international social work organization where her husband had been assigned.

She was preceded in death by her husband; her parents; younger sister; and grandson, son of her oldest child, who died tragically last year.

She is survived by her three sons and their families.

Loved dearly by her sons and their families, she treasured them as well, as she did her many friends at Pilgrim Place, in Japan, and around the world.

A private prayer service with her sons was held soon after her death. A memorial service for family and friends will be held at an appropriate time in the future at Pilgrim Place or Claremont United Methodist Church.

Memorial donations may be made in her name to the following social service programs: Hawaii Literacy at, Crossroads, Inc., at, or the Inland Valley Hope Partners Beta Center by check to Inland Valley Hope Partners, c/o Yvonne E. West, Office/Fiscal Administrator, 1753 N. Park Avenue, Pomona, CA 91768, with “BETA: In Memory of Catherine Thompson” in the memo line.


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