Clipped From News-Press
LOCAL Thompson, Edison's neighbor, dies at 87 By FRANCES D. WILLIAMS News-Press staff writer Ruth Green Thompson, the daughter of pioneers Frank and Annie Leathlean Green and herself a part of local history, died Tuesday. Thompson, 87, was born and raised in a home next to Thomas Edison's on the site that is now the Edison-Ford Square, formerly Boulevard Plaza. Her father earned a living as a guide on sailing yachts and for guests at the Royal Palm Hotel. He guided Thomas Cordeza's yacht for 15 years. Cordeza and his mother and their maid survived the sinking of the Ti tanic. THOMPSON "Cordeza barged the first car to Fort Myers Beach and taught my mother to drive," said Janis McQuade, Ruth Thompson's daughter. "It was the first car on the beach. She could drive only on the beach for several years because there was no bridge to the mainland or road to town." As a child, Thompson visited neighbors Thomas and Mina Edison and was one of the few people Edison allowed on his fishing pier a spot he was known to use for quiet meditation. As the great hurricane approached in September 1926, she married George Thompson. McQuade remembers her mother talking about that night. "My dad was a captain on J.L. Lofton's dredge and it sunk in the storm," McQuade said. "They left their car on the shore in an effort to save his barge and their car washed away with all their wedding presents in it." Ruth and George Thompson opened the City Fish Market in 1945 and operated it until 1969 when George retired and his son Jesse Thompson, who runs it today, took over. "My mother loved to work in the market," McQuade said. "When she'd weigh out a pound of shrimp, she'd always throw in some extras. She was a kind, caring loving woman who mothered everybody. Many of her customers were regulars from the Dunbar area." Thompson lived alone and took f fx v iiMi'".aM care of herself until about a month ago, when she became ill with congestive heart failure. She died after four weeks in intensive care at Lee Memorial Hospital. Jesse Thompson said his mother will be missed. "She was a pioneer," he said. "And there aren't that many of them left any more." Flanders "Snag" Thompson, Ruth Thompson's brother-in-law, was Lee County sheriff from 1948 to 1973. "Ruth was a fine, fine lady," Thompson said. "She was a part of the history of this area and now we've lost her. She will be missed." Thompson is survived by her son Jesse Thompson, daughter Janis McQuade, both of Fort Myers; two granddaughters, a grandson, three great-grandchildren, three sisters and two brothers. Services will be conducted at 11 a.m. Thursday at Central United Methodist Church, with her nephews serving as pallbearers. Burial will be in the Fort Myers Cemetery. The family will receive friends today from 6 to 8 p.m. at Anderson Funeral Home on Palm Beach Boulevard. Ml Why get your hearing checked at Beltone right now? Beltone's 10-step hearing evaluation is free. If you don't need hearing help, we'll be the first to tell you. If you do need hearing help, at Beltone you'll deal with true professionals. That's important, because the performance of a hearing aid depends on your type of hearing loss, noise environment, accuracy of your hearing evaluation and proper fit. Call and schedule your appointment today during our New Year's resolution consultation.