Gene Viola Thompson Goudreau, 98, Music Educator
Gene was born September 26, 1923 in Minersville in the now historic home of her grandparents – Dr. Elmer L. Straub and Amanda Kistler Straub, a descendent of the Kistler family, who arrived in the U.S. from Switzerland in 1735. Her parents were George Elvin and Blanche Straub Thompson.
She began her formal musical studies on the violin at age 10. She attended Indiana State Teachers College of Pennsylvania (now IUP) and received a B.S. in Music Education from Temple University in 1944. Her graduate studies were at both Temple and the Pennsylvania State University, during which time she taught music at Boalsburg and Lemont schools.. She also studied at the Bell Choir School in Princeton, N.J. She was a member of Alpha Delta Kappa for outstanding women educators.
Her performing career included the Women's Symphony Orchestra of Philadelphia and many recitals throughout the mid-Atlantic states. She was fond of poetry, especially that of Emily Dickinson. Gene wrote about daisies, her favorite flower.
In 1960 she moved to Somers Point NJ to continue her teaching career, retiring in 1988. She first taught violin in Atlantic City, then vocal and instrumental music in Pleasantville for 8 years, then in Ventnor, then elementary and intermediate grades in Absecon, and finally in Upper Township/Marmora for 14 years.
She volunteered for a variety of organizations including the scholarship fund of the American Association of University Women, the Auxiliary of Shore Memorial Hospital, Atlantic City Music Club, New Jersey Educators Association, and New Jersey Retired Educators. She was a member of the Crescendo Club of Atlantic City, serving as President in 1988-1989.
She was predeceased by her brother Dr. Elmer L. Thompson of Ridley Park, PA, her sister Leah Thompson Henzel of Burlington VT, and her niece Linda J Henzel of Montpelier VT. She is survived by two nephews, three nieces, and many great nieces and nephews.
Funeral arrangements are by McCausland-Garrity-Marchesani Funeral Home. Burial will be in the Thompson/Henzel family garden at Glenwood Memorial Gardens in Broomall, PA. Please consider making a donation in her memory to the music school or educational institution of your choice.