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Gladys I. Thomas


1918 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Gladys I. Thomas Obituary
Thomas, Gladys I.
97 of Mesa, Arizona, passed away on January 2, 2016. She was born on November 9, 1918, the 2nd eldest of 4 children to Joseph John and Anna (Prucha) Smith. Growing up on the family farm at Lawton, ND, they would host public dances in their barn with well-known orchestras, despite the depression years. Gladys graduated from Mayville State College in North Dakota with a degree in Elementary Education and Library Science. She taught in several schools in Ramsey County before becoming County Superintendent of Schools from 1946-1957. She then was librarian at Central High School in Devils Lake, ND until accepting a position at Ft. Wainwright Army School in Fairbanks, Alaska. Gladys met her husband, Robert Thomas while taking up the sport of curling. They moved to Sequim, Washington in the 1970's. Her family would come to visit in the summer on Puget Sound and go boating, clamming and gathering oysters. In 1980, they spent the winter in Arizona, eventually settling in Mesa. She enjoyed reading, camping, snow skiing and other sports and was an avid fan of the Arizona professional teams. She loved crossword puzzles, Mah Jongg, and volunteered in the library at Fellowship Square, where she resided. She was a member of the LOW (Loners-On-Wheels) RV club, holding several offices and was a member of the Order of the Oddfellows. Gladys was preceded in death by her parents, husband Robert, two brothers, Robert and Raymond Smith of Lawton, ND, sister Doris Wilhelmi of Nekoma, ND and a nephew, Randal Wilhelmi. Gladys is survived by her nephews; Douglas Wilhelmi (Jeanie) of Coeur d' Alene, ID, Robert Wilhelmi (Jean) of Nekoma, ND, Richard Wilhelmi (Cheryl) of Nekoma, ND, Wendel Wilhelmi (Daniel Fecteau) of Fountain Hills, AZ, Terry Smith of Devils Lake, ND, nieces; Camille Wilhelmi (Robert Mayerhofer) of Mesa, AZ, Marla Smith of Devils Lake, ND and many great-nephews and nieces. An interment service will be held at the Devils Lake Cemetery in the spring. Arrangements entrusted to Mariposa Gardens Memorial Park and Funeral Care, Mesa, AZ.

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Published in The Arizona Republic on Jan. 24, 2016
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