Lucy Gesell Thompson of Orient, N.Y., formerly of Erie, Pa., Middletown, Conn., and Upper Montclair, N.J., passed away peacefully at home on June 20, 2012, at the age of 94.
She was born Lucy Waters Burnham on November 9, 1917, in Erie, Pa., to the late Fred Waters Burnham Jr. and Ramona Hubbard Burnham. She attended Centenary College.
She was the widow of Charles Wesley Thompson, who died in 1988. Her first husband, William Hance Gesell Jr., died in 1961.
She is survived by sons William Gesell III (Linda), Perry Gesell (Patricia) and Richard Gesell (Carol); daughter-in-law Sonia; and stepdaughters, Emily and Katherine Thompson. She was predeceased by her son Peter, daughter-in-law Joanne and two sisters, Katherine Stephenson and Helena Mitchell. Lucy’s life was made extra special by 11 grandchildren: William Hance IV, Mark, Peter, Richard, and Michael Gesell, Marilyn Tierney, Sue Murtagh, Melissa Waterstredt, Jacqueline Diez, Adriene Dickerson and Carolyn O’Sullivan; 28 great-grandchildren; and myriad nieces and nephews.
Her kindness and generosity touched many people, whose days will be just a wee bit dimmer for her passing. She was a lifelong Junior League member and worked in the Montclair thrift shop. As an Eastern Long Island Hospital volunteer, cited for hundreds of hours of service, she was visited daily by hospital staff and visitors alike as she tended the hospital snack shop.
She was a member and former officer of the Orient Yacht Club. She and her first husband were instrumental in building a club devoted to both youth and senior activities. Those visiting the Orient Historical Society, adults and children alike, would find her managing the society gift shop and sharing her knowledge of Orient and its unique history. Until moving permanently to Orient in 1980, she was the administrator of the Job Haines Home, an assisted living facility in Bloomfield, N.J.
An honorary director of East End Lighthouses, and one of the original founding directors of the organization responsible for the replication of Long Beach Bar “Bug Light,” she was recognized by the Town of Southold, N.Y., for her longtime dedication to the preservation of local offshore lighthouses.
Lucy was a very caring, generous and charitable woman, who always wanted the best for her family and friends. She will be remembered for her humor, love of life and addiction to crossword puzzles. She will be sadly missed by all whose lives she touched and deeply mourned by the family she loved so much. Interment will be private.
Arrangements were handled by Horton-Mathie Funeral Home in Greenport.
Memorial donations to East End Hospice, Westhampton Beach, N.Y., would be appreciated.
This is a paid notice.