---- — TICONDEROGA — Mary Beth (Rayno) Thompson of Ticonderoga passed away Monday, July 8, 2013, surrounded by family and friends.
It is a rare thing to find someone who is both kind and tenacious in perfect balance. Mary was just that. For those of us who were lucky enough to know her, we spent our lives transfixed by that beautiful dichotomy. Her iron-will and bravery were unparalleled. Her compassion and goodness; unmatched. Mary was a woman who loved her family and friends so fiercely, we never had to ask, "Does she love me?" Before the question could fully enter our consciousness, it was replaced with the hasty reply: "Yes." She never missed a birthday, holiday, or illness without showing support, concern, and love, even as her own health began to decline.
Mary spent her life taking care of people and animals. She was a protective and nurturing mother and grandmother, a devoted wife, sister, daughter and friend. She provided shelter and love for stray and sick animals. Mary's home was always full of wagging tails, purring cats, and smiling family because of the limitless, unconditional, and incredible love that poured from her soul. She was a soul so full of passion, God sent her to the earth on Valentine's Day, 1958, and no date could ever be more suitable.
In her final days, as her family gathered around, Mary was too determined to sit, tall and sturdy in the kingdom of her kitchen, where as an excellent chef, she had spent so many hours preparing meals for loved ones and celebrations. The tenacity that she showed all of her life continued on in the face of grave illness. More remarkably, so did her kindness. As the family gathered in the kitchen that day, she looked up, smiled and asked, "Can I get you guys anything, are you hungry?"
The impact she has made on each person who knew her closely is extraordinary. While Mary is gone, her memory is not, and the way in which she lived her life will continue to guide those that she left behind, because black and white movies really are better than new blockbusters, kielbasa is more than just a breakfast food, sparkly sandals in the summertime are a must, and passionate, furious love, is the only way in which to love at all.
Mary was predeceased by her father, Walter Rayno, and two infant sons. Survivors include her husband, Mark, of 23 years; her son, Jason and his wife Tracy; and her three grand children; Paige, who like her grandmother loves to cook, her granddaughter, Brooke, who shared Mary's love of pool time, and her grandson, Cameron, who provided her with her daily dose of both smiles and exercise. Mary is also survived by her mother, Jean Rayno of Ticonderoga; her three brothers, David (Patty) of Clifton Park, John of Warrensburg, Richard of New Jersey; and her two sisters, Margaret Polihronakis (Bill) of Ticonderoga, and Jane Hughes of Saratoga. Mary is also survived by many nieces and nephews. Mary also leaves behind her forever friends, Edie and Darrel LaFrance, Mary and Ron Longergan Scott, Kim Vilardo, Dixie Thorpe, Anne Morette, and Chris TeRiele Ross.
At Mary's request, there will be a private celebration of her life. Donations in Mary's memory may be made to Relay For Life, Team Mary, in care of Margaret Polihronakis, 9 Charboneau Road, Ticonderoga, NY.