Nell Constance Thompson was born in Kenora, Ontario,
Canada in 1887. When she was a teenager, her parents,
Pirrie and Janet Thompson, moved the family to
Everett, Washington where Nell married William Carlyle
Kantner, M.D., in 1913. Together they had one child,
Helen Constance Kantner. Will died in France during
World War I, where he had gone to assist in the field
hospitals. Nell was thus a Gold Star Wife.
Although she had graduated from college prior to her marriage, after the death of her husband she pursued her education receiving two master's degrees from the University of Washington. While raising Helen she was a teacher, a principal, and eventually was appointed the Director of Vocational Education for the State of Washington. Upon her retirement the Olympia Home Economics Association established the Nell C. Kantner Scholarship.
Friends and colleagues described her as "very charming and delightful", and admired her "graciousness" and her "wide reaching influence" on the education of young girls. Her granddaughters, Barbara, Susan and Priscilla loved her very much.
Her child with Will Kantner: