BOTETOURT COUNTY, Va. – The Roanoke Valley community is dabbing their tears after the loss of a Fincastle cyclist who died in a crash Friday, but her big personality will always have a lasting impact on the community.
Though she only stood around five feet tall, Tabitha Thompson “just had a firecracker of a personality,” Virginia Western Community College Director of Nursing Lauren Hayward says.
Thompson was killed Friday after a car hit her on Route 11 near Darby Road in Botetourt County.
“Tabitha was someone who loved and loved unconditionally,” Virginia Western Community College Nursing Clinical Manager Anita Chambers said.
If Thompson wasn’t saving lives in the NICU, she was teaching the next generation of nursing students at Virginia Western Community College.
“She was so incredibly talented but her devotion to the success of others was unmatched,” Hayward said. “So that is how I will remember her.”
“When I met her I was just thinking, ‘This little lady has such a big life,’” Chambers said.
Thompson was an avid cyclist and would champion others to keep pushing forward.
“Yesterday, I didn’t feel like doing my training and I thought you know what Tabitha would say get up and get it done,” Leigh Ramsey, a friend of Tabitha’s, said. “So I did.”
If she wasn’t on the back of a bike, she was on the back of a horse. She loved teaching children at her horse farm.
“My teenage daughters went over to her house and she would help them with their self-confidence,” Benni Thompson, a friend of Tabitha’s, said. “She put them on a horse and encouraged them.”
“I’ll miss her every day,” Ramsey said. “My goal is to just move forward and treat others the way that she would have treated them and support and encourage people in every aspect of their life.”