Elsma Bartley was born, it is believed, in 1919. This is based on the dates from Find-a-Grave and her headstone. No birth record has yet been located to confirm her birth date and place as these will not be made public until 2019. However her parents were living in New Zealand and had married in Auckland in 1914, so there is good reason to believe that Elsma was born in Auckland. Her parents were Arthur Frederick Bartley, and Elsie Elphine Osbaldiston. Her birth date has been further verified by the death record.
Married to Bob Thompson, farmhand of Kerepehi, the marriage took place sometime before the publication of the Electoral roll in 1946 as Elsma shows as married at that time and living in Kerepehi.
Between about 1947 and 1954 they were living in Paeroa, first at Bennett Street in 1949 and then at Normanby Road in 1954.
They moved to Auckland where Bob was a butcher and the Electoral roll of 1957 shows them living at 4 Fruitvale Road, in New Lynn. Their home was a modest brick home with 2 bedrooms. By 1963 her husband was considered a master butcher, but 6 years later no occupation is listed, and it is speculated that, while not retired yet, Bob Thompson was no longer working.
Elsma's mother, Elsie, died in 1958 in Auckland, and her father died in 1967.
They lived in New Lynn for approximately 20 years. Elsma's husband retired sometime around 1972 when he was 57 and after that they moved to Papatoetoe, where they had a home unit at 36 Wilmay Avenue.
Elsma's husband Bob died when he was 86 years old in 2001 and Elsma died nine years later in 2009 when she was 89. They are both buried in Papatoetoe Cemetery (accessed through the newer Manukau Memorial Gardens), where Bob had been interred in the returned Servicemen section.
Some dates are uncertain as they are based on the Electoral rolls, however, the general biography was discussed and confirmed with one of Bob Thompson's nieces, Heather Morris (nee Thompson), in 2016.
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