Bertha T. Thompson

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Obituaries in Greencastle, PA | Echo Pilot

Bertha T. Thompson, 93, kindhearted and beautiful mother, died on April 7, 2023. Born May 5, 1929, to Harriet Barker Thompson and Pennsylvania State Senator E.J. Thompson and raised in Philipsburg, PA. Bertha attended Philipsburg High School and Chatham College in Pittsburgh, PA. While attending college Bertha met her husband D. Bard Thompson of Waynesboro, PA. who was finishing his doctoral program at Columbia University and Union Theological Seminary. They married in 1951 and spent many happy years in academic life at Emory University, Vanderbilt University, and Drew University.

Bertha studied art at Drew University and The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey in Summit, as well as Renaissance Art with her husband, a sixteenth century historian. After his untimely death in 1987, she spent summers in Italy studying art. Most inspiring were her four summers in Urbino, Italy with the School of Visual Arts in New York. During these years she found a publisher for her husband’s almost completed book, Humanists and Reformers, a History of the Renaissance and Reformation and compiled lavish illustrations for the book. Subsequently, she led two tours to Florence and Rome for Drew University.

For over thirty years she participated in a painting group that met every Tuesday and she contributed to local art shows. She also studied the Italian language at Learn Associates.

Her memberships included St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Morristown, the Friends of the Drew Library Committee, the Drew Wives Club, the Drew Liturgical Studies Program, the Board of Managers of the Mount Kemble Home, the Madison Garden Club, the Antietam Historical Association of Waynesboro, the Waynesboro Historical Society and the Shakespeare Festival at Drew University in earlier years.

Bertha leaves behind her daughter, Frances T. Ricciardi, her son-in-law Mark Ricciardi, three grandchildren, Bard Ricciardi (married to Julia), Eliza Leonard (married to William), Lillie Ricciardi and great granddaughter Olivia Ricciardi.

Graveside service and burial took place in Waynesboro, PA with family members.

The Ricciardi family would like to thank Garden Terrace Nursing Home of Chatham, NJ for their exceptional, unwavering and respectful support of Bertha in her last year of life.

Posted online on April 24, 2023

Published in The Record Herald