Lydia Smith Thomson


Lydia Smith Thomson died at the age of 101 on January 22 at Cathedral Village retirement home in Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania. Lydia had an adventurous and contagiously happy spirit, took a keen interest in people and ideas, and continued to brighten rooms into her final days. She was one of two children of Katharine Hancock Smith and James Somers Smith of Chestnut Hill. Lydia attended Springside School and later studied art, which became a lifelong passion.

She married James Thomson, an architect, in 1958. The couple lived in Philadelphia and in France and Germany, where Jim taught architecture on several occasions. They settled in Warren, Vermont in 1975, where Lydia loved playing tennis, cooked wonderful meals for a steady stream of guests, and developed a unique style with watercolors.

After her husband’s death, Lydia moved to Cathedral Village in 2007, where she rekindled old friendships, started many new ones, and continued to develop her art in new directions.

Her brother, James Somers Smith, Jr., died in 2007. She is survived by her nieces, Libby Smith Wilkie of Pittsboro, NC and Katharine Smith Kosinski, of Cambridge, MA; nephews, James Somers Smith III of Warren, VT and Daniel Somers Smith, of Amherst, MA; and step-daughter Robyn Bloise of Vineland, NJ. Lydia was cared for with remarkable kindness by the staff at Cathedral Village, for which her family is deeply grateful.

Services to be held on Friday, February 17th at 11:00 am at St. Martin's in the Field Church, 800 St. Martin's Lane, Philadelphia.  Reception to follow.