A COMPUTER scientist and stalwart of the Llanfyllin community has died at the age of 92.

Liz Thompson will be remembered in Llanfyllin and the Tanat Valley for her drive and energy, organising the town's 700th anniversary tapestry, and giving support to the local Women’s Institute, Probus, and the Powys Liberal Democrats.

She was born Betty Smith at Caemawr, at the Roberts family farm near Llanrhaeadr-Ym-Mochnant, and raised near Doncaster where her father Arthur worked at as a cutter and her mother Mabel as a primary school teacher.

After being educated at Thorne Grammar School during the war, in 1946 she went to Manchester University to study combined sciences. She had wanted to go to Cambridge but at the time her family was moving South and she could not stay on for the extra term at school that would have necessitated.

Her first act on moving away was to ditch the name Betty and become Liz.

Liz was a lifetime member of the British Federation of University Women.

In 1948, with her degree, she travelled by ship through the Suez Canal to Mombasa and on by train to Nairobi to start work as a soil scientist. She worked first at Maguga, an agricultural research institute just outside Nairobi and later in a hill station.

On return to the UK, Liz worked at the British Non-Ferrous Metals Association in the Euston Road. There she met Bill Ramsden, a physicist and in 1952 they were married in St Albans, where their three boys, Chris, Pete and Dave were born. Liz and Bill divorced in 1968.

After several years of teaching in secondary schools, Liz went to work at Dacorum College in Hemel Hempstead.

She was a great improviser. When building one of the first networked computer labs she would go to auctions to buy equipment. Liz became addicted to computer bargains and years later the house was littered with computers, printers, cartridges and cables.

In those days there were few courses to teach computer packages for word processing or spreadsheets, so Liz wrote her own.

She met James Thompson in the early 1970s. After being together for a decade, they married in 1987.

In 1990 Liz retired from the college and moved to Wales to be closer to her mother. They found a developer in Llanfyllin, and bought the plot for Erw Felin, moving into the house in 1992.

In retirement, Liz and James travelled a great deal visiting China, Thailand, Bali, Egypt, Turkey, Eastern Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. In Llanfyllin, Liz applied her energy and enthusiasm to the Women’s Institute and Probus, for which she set numerous quizzes that raised funds for many good causes.

For the 700th anniversary of the award of town status for Llanfyllin she organised a group to make a tapestry depicting the buildings of the town. The tapestry is still exhibited in St Myllins Church.

Paying tribute, her son Chris Ramsden said: "Liz was a force of nature. She had incredible energy and this was both her greatest strength and sometimes her Achilles heel. She would not always understand why people did not want to do what she wanted to do.

"A good example was her campaign in the 1970s to persuade the General Synod of the Church of England to allow divorced people to marry in church. The files of press cuttings marched across the floor in serried ranks. Hundreds of letters were despatched. Robert Runcie, then bishop of St Albans, bore the brunt of her lobbying. The Church of England finally relented in 2002, long after Liz had started her campaign.

"Liz loved organising parties, quite a few of which took place in Llanfechain village hall. The last party was a surprise party for James 90th birthday in 2007 where many of their friends and relations came from far afield as well as from Llanrhaeadr and Llanfyllin."

Liz was proud of her sons' achievements. They gained good degrees, Chris at Cambridge with a first, Pete at Bristol and Dave at Oxford. She went to Buckingham Palace when Dave was knighted.

The years following the death of James in 2014 were spent in Donaldson Lodge in Potters Bar, and then Belmont Care Home in Hoddesdon where she made new friends with the staff and residents who enjoyed her company, and her dry sense of humour.

Mr Ramsden said: "She really enjoyed her 90th birthday party organised by the staff at Donaldson and had a great time visiting Paradise park while at Belmont view. She retained her interest in current affairs, her children and their families and her friends until the last few months."

Liz died peacefully in Belmont View and leaves behind her three children Chris, Pete and Dave four grandchildren – Helen, Louise, Zoe and Tom – and many friends in Llanfyllin, Llanrhaeadr, and Hertfordshire.

Mr Ramsden added: "She will be missed and remembered for her incredible energy, her quick brain and her warm smile."