Mildred Althea (Milena) Thompson

Date(s) of birth and/or death approximate

Date of Birth

January 1st, 1921

Date of Death

January 1st, 2017

Memorial Meeting

Eugene Friends Meeting

Minute

Mildred (Milena) Thompson was a musician, environmentalist, peace activist and active member of the Eugene Friends Meeting. She was a welcoming and close friend to everyone she met. Milena played in the Eugene Symphony Orchestra and taught violin and viola to many area students. Many Friends remember her impassioned ministry concerning the beauty of nature and the dire need for environmental protection.

Born and raised in southern California, she graduated from UCLA. In 1942 she married Albert Jones, who was a conscientious objector during WWII and during those years they both became Quakers. After the war Albert worked with the American Friends Service Committee, including being on the crew of a relief ship carrying cattle to war-torn Poland, while Milena stayed with a Quaker family. They returned to the Los Angeles area in 1950 with sons Jeffrey and Eric and joined the new San Fernando Valley Friends Meeting. There they welcomed daughter Julie. Milena became a professional violinist and teacher, playing with the San Fernando Valley Symphony and other Southern California orchestras, ensembles and quartets.

She left the marriage in 1966, and later married Roger O’Donnell. The couple moved to Eugene in the early 1970’s.  Roger made hand-crafted violins, and Millie, as she was then called, pursued her career in music and her passion for the environment. She loved Oregon’s lush beauty. After Roger's death, she married Stanley Thompson, an anti-nuclear and peace activist, until his passing in 2005. Hospitalized by a stroke 2007, Milena entered a period of questioning and courage in the face of increasing disability. In a care facility until the end of her life, she continued to inspire the many friends who visited her on a regular basis, as well as her caregivers. 

Milena was devoted to her family, her music, and her world. She lived lightly on the earth, sharing her spirit and light with many in her community. She is survived by her three children: Jeff Jones, Eric Jones and Julie Keechler, six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

A Quaker memorial is being held on July 8, 2017 at the Eugene Friends Meeting.