Thompson was born as Elsie Marie Calvert in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, on 5 April 1899. She married Ronald “Ron” Thompson in 1921 and had a son, George. Her husband was a veteran of both World Wars.
Thompson and her husband, a former Pennsylvania state senator, moved to Clearwater, Florida, in 1971. She was widowed in 1986.
On Thompson’s 111th birthday, she stated that the secret to her longevity was, “I love people.”
As a supercentenarian, Thompson remained active, living in her own home with the assistance of a caregiver, had her hair and nails done, and hosted a sizeable celebration on her 112th birthday, with family, friends, and local media in attendance.
Thompson died peacefully on 21 March 2013 in Clearwater, Florida, after a period of declining health. She was the fifth-oldest person in the world whose age has been validated. She was survived by her son George, as well as four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.