Vickie Thompson has been called a second mom, a Southern Belle and a force of nature -- one that could only be stopped by death, but this was too soon.
On July 4, a heart attack ended Vickie's full life. Hours before, she was selling t-shirts at the Independence Day parade she’d worked on for nearly 30 years. That’s how Vickie lived. She got things done.
"More often than not, you pull back the curtain and Vickie is pulling the levers and pushing the buttons," said Evan Faram, a family friend.
If you’ve seen a musical at Woodrow Wilson High School anytime in the last few decades, those costumes were made by Vickie.
"Anything that sparkled, anything that was beautiful, anything that was done well, that was made with care, that was made with love, but that also had some va-va-voom glamour," said Brennan Greef Blair, who proudly donned her costumes during her high school years. "That was Vickie’s signature."
She spread that sparkle to the lives of people in need, volunteering with The Wilkinson Center for more than 12 years.
"She had a lot of energy. I have no idea how she got everything done," said Rachel Berhe, who worked with Vickie.
No job was too small. Vickie would do everything from stock the food pantry to play the organ, which she did at the Center's recent GED Graduation celebration.
"It’s just who she was," said Cathy McNally, of The Wilkinson Center. "That's the only person I’ve ever known, like her."
It's because that’s only a fraction of the list of what Vickie filled her days with. Meals on Wheels, her church’s choir, PTA’s and 10 Lakewood neighborhood organizations makes for more than two dozen groups benefiting from Vickie’s donated time. And in each, she was able to make hundreds of people feel seen, important and loved.
"I feel like whatever slice of Vickie’s life they got, it was such a small piece of her pie," said Gable Roby, who performed in Vickie's costumes at Woodrow Wilson. "Her ability to give and to share, she just had a bigger capacity for that than most of us do."
So how do you say thank you? A group of former Woodrow Wilson students who proudly donned Vickie's costumes will be singing at her funeral.
And the neighborhood that wouldn’t be what it is without her dimmed the lights on the tower of the Lakewood Theater, one area icon honoring another.