June Thompson, a longtime Palo Alto teacher, died on May 16.
She was born on Feb. 8, 1926, in St. Louis, Mo. She received her B.A. from the University of Michigan in 1947 and then moved to New York City. She earned her M.A. in Early Childhood Education from Columbia University in 1951. She first taught in Bellflower, Calif., then in Palo Alto from 1953-1970. She spent her sabbatical year in London, 1962-1963, studying at the Montessori Training Organization and the St. Nicholas Training Centre. She earned an additional Montessori diploma from the College of Notre Dame in 1966 while directing a pilot program under its auspices for children of diverse backgrounds that led to a permanent Montessori school. She then moved to Alaska to become founding director of the Fairbanks Montessori School. Two severe injuries impelled her to return to Ohlone School in Palo Alto, where she met her lifelong partner, Bill Thompson. They were married in 1970.
She was also a docent at the Stanford Museum from 1971-1975, specializing in the Rodin collection. She served as curator of the permanent art collection of the City of Palo Alto through the Cultural Center.
In 1980, she decided it was time to come to terms with living in the nuclear age and embarked on research and study that continued to her death. Her first action was at Vandenberg Air Force Base in 1983, protesting the MX missile. In June of that same year, she was arrested at Livermore Lab and held for 11 days. Some of her experiences are recorded in her book, "Missouri Mandala: Observations of an Anti-Nuclear Activist."
She is survived by her stepchildren Christopher Thompson, his wife, Toni, and their children Xochitl Andrade, Christopher Jr., and Daniel; Cynthia Wise, her husband, Larry, and their daughter, Nicole; Scott Thompson and David Thompson.
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