Mary Lynn Stendal Thompson April 20, 1944 — March 1, 2018
Mary Lynn was born to Georgiana and James Thompson in Bellingham, WA. She was a tomboy from the get-go and followed in the footsteps of her two older brothers, Casey and Stuart Thompson. In her early years she rode horses on the Northwest Road then discovered the joys of girlfriends and cars in high school. Always a proud Bellingham Red Raider, Mary Lynn graduated in 1962 magna cum laude.
At Skagit Valley College, she met Gary Stendal, the love of her life, who wooed her with guitar music, his sense of humor, and good looks. They were married August 1, 1966 at her parent's home. Daughters Sarah McKivett and Erin McPherson were raised on the E. Laurel Rd enjoying a truly unique and wonderful childhood.
Mary Lynn had 27 years with Meridian School District, working wherever she was needed then finding her niche as bus driver. Every time you see a yellow school bus, you can honor her dedication and loyalty by smiling and waving to the driver.
Mary Lynn was adventurous and loved travel, initially in her "Murph Mobile" ,then river rafting, house-boating, cruising to Alaska, tripping to Hawaii, Mexico and New York City. Her most recent endeavor was her blue ocean kayak...(as seen in her smiling profile picture)
Her local "happy place" was any place she happened to be, but the South Fork of the Nooksack River was extra special, and she loved the bald eagles she often saw there.
The trips she took to Hama Hama on Hood Canal with a group of very special friends were always a "best time" with many good laughs!
Her home on the Curtis Ranch, designed and constructed under her direction, reflects her spirit and love of the outdoors: an amazingly manicured yard, flower beds, fire pit, pasture, fencing....all sprinkled with her whimsical artistic touches and signs, invited you to "come and sit a bit".
MaryLynn's attendance at any gathering guaranteed laughs!!! Her dry, subtle wit and humorous perceptions made for light hearts and staying focused on the positive. "Murph's people" included folks from all walks of life: she was generous to the less fortunate, drawn to strangers who intrigued her, stimulated by academic conversations, loyal to her many friends, and, most significantly, devoted to family.
She is survived by daughters Sarah (Nick) Puls, Erin (Kyle) Rick, grandchildren Axel River and Mesa Blue Puls, Samuel Desmond and Tiley Rose Rick. Two brothes, Casey (Barbara) and Stuart Thompson, nieces and nephews Tori Jean Thompson Rock, Meggin Louise Thompson Podnar, Shannon Stendal Moore, Travis Stendal, Lindsay Potts Donnovan and Nick Potts. Many friends and her four-legged companion, Gabriel, cherished their time with her.
A bonfire, cookout Celebration of Life was held on Sunday March 4, 2018 in Mary Lynn's sanctuary, her yard.
In Lieu of flowers, follow Mary Lynn's lead and perform an unexpected act of kindness in her honor. Continue to spread her joy. The family and friends of Murph would like to thank all the wonderful friends who contributed cards, flowers and all the delicious food brought to the memorial service. We could not have done it without you!