Renton volunteer and McLendon elf Suzanne Thompson passes away

Suzanne Thompson dressed as the McLendon
Suzanne Thompson dressed as the McLendon's elf.
— image credit: Submitted

The Renton community lost one of its most prominent and involved citizens this past week when Suzanne Thompson died Oct. 9. She was 70 years old.

Thompson was a community mainstay who worked at McLendon’s Hardware for 40 years and enjoyed playing the Christmas elf during the holidays.

She was also heavily involved in Renton events.

Thompson was very active in the Renton community and served on Renton River Days board, the Chamber of Commerce, the Piazza and Farmers Market board, the Soroptimist Club and School District Advisory Committees. She was also proud to be nominated for Renton Citizen of the Year.

Suzanne Marie Sauve was born on Sept. 8, 1943, to Irvin J. Sauve and Wilma S. Geroux of Moxee, Wash. She was the second of six children and attended Holy Rosary Grade School, Central Catholic High School and Yakima Valley College.

She married David Thompson of Renton on Oct. 5, 1968, and the couple lived in Bellevue.

Thompson is survived by her devoted husband David Thompson of Bellevue; her son, Joshua Thompson; two granddaughters Cyrenna and Morgan and their mother Dori; and five siblings, Joseph Sauve (Selma) of Sequim, Cheryl Kumma (Richard) of Kirkland, Janice Kelly (Robert) of Bothell, Thomas Sauve (Melissa) of Yakima and Stephen Sauve (Nancy) of Yakima; 13 nieces and nephews and 13 great-nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents.

Thompson loved to travel and experienced many wonderful trips with her husband to Australia, New Zealand, China, Hawaii, Alaska, Mexico, the Caribbean and Europe. She also cherished the memory of her trip to the Vatican with her mother.

Friends remember Thompson’s home as a delightful gathering place for friends and family.

Her loss will also be felt through the city and especially at the events at which she volunteered.

“We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Suzanne Thompson. Suzanne was a trailblazer whose positive influence impacted our community and whose capable, dignified leadership will never be forgotten,” said Renton Mayor Denis Law in a statement. “She was an incredibly caring and thoughtful woman who touched the lives of many.

“Suzanne has left a profound legacy for the city of Renton and far beyond. The impact of her life and achievements will live on in our memories,” he continued. “She will be truly missed, and her memory honored and cherished by all for many decades to come.”

Renton Reporter Publisher Ellen Morrison said city events would not be the same without Thompson’s presence.

“She was always everywhere,” Morrison said.

“It is hard for me to wrap my head around Suzanne Thompson being anything but full of life,” she added. “She always looked like a burst of sunshine, with a smile on her face and a glow in her eyes. In fact I don’t think Suzanne needed a costume to look like Santa’s helper; that was just her, helping others while having rosy cheeks and a smile.”

The City Council also held a moment of silence in honor of her passing.

A celebration of Thompson’s life is scheduled for 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Renton Pavilion Event Center, 233 Burnett Ave. S. Committal service will be in Holy Rosary Cemetery, Moxee, Wash.

Memorials may be sent to Soroptimist of Renton; Renton Clothing Bank, Renton Salvation Army, Friends of Renton School District, Overlake Hospital or a charity of your choice.

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