Doris Roberta Thompson, a mother and a bookkeeper, died Monday at St. Elizabeth's Nursing Home of heart failure. The former Catonsville resident was 85.
Born Doris Anderson in Pimlico, she attended Forest Park High School, where she graduated in 1936. That year, she married James A. Thompson, a residential and commercial painter.
A year later, the Thompsons started their family -- four daughters and two sons born over a span of 16 years.
"She sewed by hand when we were young," said her youngest daughter, Susan Cramer of Catonsville. "We were very poor. Once, she took a suit of my father's and made it into an Easter dress for one of my sisters. She made a wedding dress and knitted sweater sets for grandchildren and great-grandchildren. We don't know how many she actually made. With the family being so large, she would put together craft projects that turned into Christmas presents."
Mrs. Cramer said that her mother stayed at home to raise the family and worked as a waitress for a short time. In the mid-1950s she went to work as a bookkeeper at Schleisner's, a now-defunct downtown women's wear store.
She then worked for the state Health Department, where she stayed until she retired in 1980.
"She was totally devoted to her family, children, grandchildren," Mrs. Cramer said. "She attended sporting events and school events, and, until the last days of her life, she was interested in seeing them." Her husband died in 1975.
Mrs. Thompson did not stay idle during her retirement, her daughter said. She worked part time as a bookkeeper at the Motor Vehicles Administration and at temporary agencies. She had a wide array of hobbies, including bowling, crocheting, knitting and ceramics. She also enjoyed going on cruises to Bermuda and the Caribbean.
Services were held Friday.
Mrs. Thompson is survived by another daughter, Jennie Mules of Randallstown; sons Patrick Joseph Thompson of Millersville and Michael Joseph Thompson of Freeland; a sister, Bettye Schaeffer of Pasadena; 12 grandchildren; 22 great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren. A daughter, Regina M. Thompson, died in infancy. Another daughter, Mary Catherine Moscati, died in 2001.