Pauline Irene Thompson

November 16, 1927June 11, 2018
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Pauline I. Thompson, age 90, passed away on Tuesday, June 11, 2018, peacefully in her sleep at Brookdale Senior Living in Bakersfield, CA. She was born on a farm in Tuttle, Oklahoma on November 16, 1927 to Robert and Lela (Odom) Hughes. She had 4 older brothers and 2 younger sisters. She is preceded in death by her parents, her first husband, Cletus Choate, their son, Craig Cletus Choate and her late husband, Jay Thompson. Pauline lead a full and joyful life with her loved ones. She could light up a room with her joyful laughter and make everyone around her feel happy to be near her. She was a devout Christian and in her last days was waiting to join her loved ones in heaven. She is survived by her son, Bobby Choate, Jay’s son, Mike Thompson, 2 sisters (Geraldine Post and Imogene Barrett), 2 grandchildren (Candice Learman and Jarrod Craig Choate), 6 great grandchildren (Isaiah, Silas, Keturah, Kyleigh, Tallon, Ledger and an unborn girl). Chapel Funeral services will be held in Bakersfield on Wednesday June 20 at 10:00 AM for viewing and 11:00 AM for service, at Hillcrest Memorial Park, 9101 Kern Canyon Road, with Pastor Robyn officiating. Burial will be the following day at 11:00 AM, at Lakewood Funeral home, 900 Santa Fe Ave, Hughson, CA 95326.


  • Visitation Wednesday, June 20, 2018
  • Funeral Service Wednesday, June 20, 2018
  • Graveside Service Thursday, June 21, 2018

Pauline Irene Thompson

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Pauline Irene Thompson (Hughes, Choate)

Born November 16, 1927

Tuttle, OK

Pauline was born in Tuttle, Oklahoma, November 16, 1927 to Robert and Lela Hughes. She had 4 older brothers and 2 younger sisters.

At their home in Tuttle Oklahoma, she recalled her older brother Bob climbing to the top of the wood pile and claiming King of the Wood Pile. In that house, she remembers her mother scrubbing their clothes so hard on a wash board that her fingers would bleed. Her oldest brother, Otis felt so bad for her that he sold his pig and brought her a Maytag wash machine.

Years later, after they moved to California, a tornado came and blew their Tuttle house away.

In 1936 when the Dust Bowl hit Oklahoma and destroyed her father’s cotton crop, the family packed all their belongings and moved to California. They had a 4 door Chevy with a large cotton trailer. Her mother did not want to leave Oklahoma. They had to carry her to the car to get her to leave. The trip to California took about a week for the 7 children, Dad and Mom.

Along the way, her mom would buy a large stick of baloney to feed the family. Her Dad would make pancakes and flip them in the air. He was quite the entertainer. He liked to kid around and make the kids laugh.

When they arrived in Arvin, they lived under a shade tree near the railroad tracks.

Her dad and brothers worked picking cotton. Then they moved into a house in Arvin for a while.

After Arvin, they moved up Brentwood California to pick apricots. They went across the San Francisco Bay on a Ferry to Gridley to pick prunes. They stayed in government camp. Pauline would babysit her 2 younger sisters and make dinner while they worked. After Gridley, her Dad had saved enough money to buy a new Chevy.

About 1937 her Dad bought a lot in Lamont and made a temporary home with a floor and tent. They had a small trailer house for her Mom to cook in. The next year they went up to Gridley to pick prunes. While they were away, some uninvited cousins moved into their tent until her Dad came back and kicked them out. Then he started building the permanent house and paid cash as he went along. At first it had an outhouse in the back. He was a believer of saving money but a skeptic of banking systems. He was known for saving money and bearing it into safe places.

She remembered a wonderful childhood although it was hard work most of the time, her family was strong in faith and togetherness. At Christmas her Dad would make stockings and fill them with an orange and wrap up a piece of corn bread. He bought them yellow chicks for Easter.

Pauline met her first husband, Cletus when she was 14. Cletus had stuck a pitch fork through his foot and was on crutches when they met. He also lived in Lamont. Cletus asked her Dad if they could get married when she was 16. They married in 1944 and moved into Cletus's aunt's apartment. He drove a truck for his Dad and took workers to work the fields around Lamont. Pauline and Cletus worked at the DiGiorgio farms early in their marriage. They were very active in the Pentecostal Church in Lamont. Even after the moved to Bakersfield they would drive to Lamont for services.

They had 2 boys. They adopted Bobby and raised him along with 2 foster children. After they had been married for 17 years, they had Craig.

Cletus passed away of a heart attack while working at Carnation. Craig was only 9. Pauline raised Craig as a single Mom until she met Jay. Craig was the joy of her live. He lived with her and Jay off and on for many years. Craig passed away of a heart attack in 2010. He left her with 2 grandchildren (Candice Learman and Jarrod Choate), 6 great grandchildren (Isaiah, Silas, Keturah, Kyleigh, Tallon, Ledger and an unborn girl).

Jay and Pauline married in 1973. They moved to Sacramento for Jay to work with his trucking firm. They had many residences in the area until they settled in their last home in Cameron Park. They had a beautiful home with a park like setting for a yard. Jay was a master of creating beautiful gardens for Pauline to enjoy. He even transplanted roses from her father's house in Lamont. They lived there for 32 years until Jay became ill and passed away in November of 2012. Jay and Pauline had a wonderful life together and enjoyed their boat and traveling in their motor home. They even took their boat under the Golden Gate Bridge to the open waters of the ocean.

After Jay died in 2012, Pauline lived in Modesto near her sister, Imogene. She moved to Bakersfield in September 2017. Pauline wanted the end of her life to be in Bakersfield where she grew up. She was very happy to be back in her home town. Her sister, Geraldine was a comfort and spent many hours trying to make her comfortable in her new home.

Her last place of residence was Brookdale Senior Living. The people at Brookdale constantly said she was very much loved by the staff. They took very good care of her in her final days. She is now in God’s hands and we pray that she is united with her loved ones.

Pauline had a laugh that would light up a room. You did not need to be in the same room to enjoy the wonderful smile she could bring to your face. She appreciated everything that everyone did for her and in her final days she could not thank us enough for being there for her. She wanted to re re-united with her loved ones in heaven and when it was time God took her to that wonderful place. She will certainly be missed by all of us.