Nellie A. Thompson, 93
DUDLEY – Nellie A. (Twardzik) Thompson, 93, formerly of Mason Road, died Friday, March 8, 2013 in St. Vincent Hospital, Worcester.
She leaves a son, Joe Thompson and his wife Michelle of Dudley; 2 daughters, Patricia A. Biron of Dudley and Joanne L. Avery of Webster; 5 grandchildren, David P. Biron and his wife Kathleen of Henderson, MN, Kevin J. Biron and his wife Gillian of New York City, Brian P. Avery and his wife Diana of Milford, and Emily Jo Thompson and Joseph B. Thompson, both of Dudley; 3 great-grandchildren, Tegan E. Biron, Brady J. Biron and Bridget A. Biron, all of Henderson, MN; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by 2 daughters, Mary Ellen Thompson in 1957 and Kathleen J. Bazinet in 1983, by her 3 brothers Joseph, William and Chester Twardzik and by her 3 sisters, Stella Grochowski, Helen Mayotte and Mary Rulli.
She was born at home in the Jericho section of Dudley, the daughter of Jacob and Anna (Wojdacz) Twardzik and was a lifelong resident. She graduated from Bartlett High School in 1937. She held the distinction, for which she gained national recognition, of being the first girl ever to play on a boys’ varsity baseball team (April 24, 1935). She also was a top guard on the girls’ varsity basketball team. She played baseball for the Dudley Athletic Club, Nellie’s All-Stars, The Watertown Nighthawks and the Loreto Semi-Pro Ball Club. She was recognized with a 3-year letter in both sports.
Mrs. Thompson worked as an inspector at Cranston Print Works Company in Webster. She was a school crossing guard at the corner of West Main Street and Mason Road for several years. She then was a framer at the American Optical Company in Southbridge before retiring in 1984.
She was an assistant director of the Crawford Field playground with her nephew Joseph Mayotte. At the same time, she served as co-director and also coached the Dudley Lassie League in the late 1960’s. She played first base in the Southbridge Women’s Softball League in the 1970’s. Her scrapbooks were enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame Library in Cooperstown, NY in 1990. She was the recipient of the Stasia Czernicki Sportswoman Award in 2004 and was inducted into the Bartlett High School Sports Hall of Fame in that same year. On Mother’s Day 2006, her high school letter and first baseman’s glove were placed on permanent display in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. Later that year on July 25, she was honored at the Boston State House and on September 9 she threw the ceremonial first pitch at Fenway Park.
She was a member of Saint Andrew Bobola Church. She was a woman of strong faith who took great joy in sharing her love of sports and Polish traditions with her beloved family.
The funeral will be held Wednesday, March 13, from Scanlon Funeral Service, 38 East Main Street, Webster, with a Mass at 10:00 AM in Saint Andrew Bobola Church, 54 West Main Street. Burial will be in St. Joseph Garden of Peace, Webster. Calling hours will be from 5:00 to 8:00 PM Tuesday, March 12, in the funeral home. Donations in her name may be made to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, attn.: Communications Dept., 6931 Arlington Road, Bethseda, MD 20814 (donations@ cff.org).