My Aunt Evie passed away on Friday January 16th, 2009 in her home in Zumbrota, Minnesota.
Evelyn Gloria Irene Husbyn was born March 10, 1929, in Minneola Township, Goodhue County. She grew up on the family farm, attended country school, and graduated from Zumbrota High School in 1947. On Jan. 17, 1948, she married Stanley "Tat" Thompson in Zumbrota.
Below is Evie and me at my sister's Ph.D. graduation at George Mason University in 2006. Evie is the lady in the white hair second from the left.
They owned their own businesses and were extremely successful. I remember working at their Skelly Gas Station in Zumbrota, Minnesota with my cousin Richard Franklin while our Grandpa (Melvin Thompson) would oversee our duties. My Grandpa would give discounts to all customers when they filled up their cars or trucks, but it was a total to mystery to me on his percentage discount logic. When I asked Tat and Evie on what math logic that Grandpa was using they just laughed. They told me, "Dave, Pa does not have any logic, he simply makes it up as he goes." Neither Tat nor Evie would tell my Grandpa to stop, because they knew that it made Grandpa feel good to give the people of Zumbrota a discount on their gas.
Tat and Evie epitomized the smart, caring and cool couple.
Tat and Evie always had the coolest cars. There was a time in 1970 when Tat owned a 1969 Dodge Charger R/T that had 7.2 litre engine at 375hp, 0-60 in 6 seconds, 0-100 in 13.3 seconds and top speed of 150mph. That year and model car was voted the best muscle car of all time. Evie had a 1970 Ford Torino Cobra Jet that had the 429 cubic inch engine with 370hp, 0-60 in 6 seconds and was Motor Trend's Car of the Year in 1970. Tat and Evie's love of cars, trucks and motorcycles (Tat owned Harley-Davidson's long before it was fashionable to do so) really created a love of cars, trucks and motorcycles in everyone's lives they touched. One of my life goals was to have a car faster than anything that Tat or Evie owned. Finally, at age 42, I bought a Corvette that as faster than anything Tat or Evie owned. But, Tat and Evie had more cool in their little fingers than I have in my whole body :-) You can not buy cool.
My family moved around lot growing up. When Tat and Evie would come visit us, the excitement level was palpable. Tat always had a big wad of cash in his pocket. No one on planet earth knew more jokes or stories than Tat Thompson. What always amazed me about Evie is that no matter how many times she heard Tat tell a story, Evie would always laugh out loud like it was the first time. One time when Tat and Evie came to visit I was in the process of buying a 1972 240Z and need to pay cash to the owner so I had $2,100 on me. After Tat and Evie were there for awhile, I said to Tat, "Tat, I don't have any clue on how much money I have in my wallet right now, but I will bet you $100 that I have more than you do." Tat said, "well, I don't want to bet you, but let's find out." Tat had about $700 or so. After I got to about $1,000 Evie just started laughing. It was like that MasterCard commercial - pricelesss.
Evie was extremely smart in dealing with people and had a level of common sense that was unmatched. Evie's mother, Ida, was the same way. I remember when I was 18, I was giving Ida a hard time because she had (literally) $3,000 in a freezer in Tat and Evie's cellar. When I told her that she was not making any interest by doing that, she simply responded with two sentences that put me in my place and I am reminded of that conversation today.
Ida asked me, "Dave, let me ask you one question. If you went to the bank to get your money and that bank was closed down and you lost all of your money, how long will you remember that day?" With our economy in the toilet and getting worse, I think of Ida's advice often....
Evie will be greatly missed among all who knew and loved her....