Loretta Mary Thomas

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Loretta Mary Thomas Loretta Mary Thomas of Topeka, died December 4, 2017, at The House at Midland Care. She was 87.

Mrs. Thomas was born January 29, 1930, in El Dorado, Kansas, to Ada (Cunningham) and Louis Draut. Loretta fondly remembered the early days of play in a local neighborhood that included aunts, uncles and cousins.

When her father died in 1935, Loretta's childhood shifted radically. She, her mother and her two sisters coped through sacrifice and hard work during The Great Depression and the World War II years.

She was married to Gerald Ernest Thomas of Dover on May 23, 1953, at Holy Name Catholic Church in Topeka. They met over the Woolworth's counter in downtown Topeka when Mr. Thomas was in the Air Force. Mr. and Mrs. Thomas lived all their married life in Topeka.

Her working career included Woolworth's and Capper Publications and later the rectory of Holy Name Catholic Church, where she was a member for more than 50 years. She did volunteer work for Holy Name's altar guild and school.

Mrs. Thomas chose as her life work the building of her family, devoting her considerable energy and intelligence to their care and success. She baked, sewed her children's clothes, made uncounted lunches and suppers, helped with school projects and studies, grew flowers and vegetables, canned and froze fresh food, and assured that the household met a high bar for cleanliness. Her days flowed naturally from her giving nature and a deep habit of love.

She considered her children and grandchildren each special and separate, loved for who they are. She truly relished their lives as they grew up. Loretta was always interested in their educations, youthful accomplishments and disappointments, and their emergence into adulthood with responsibilities of their own.

Nobody owned a more tender heart than Loretta Thomas. She often acted for those whose lives held uncertainty, especially children.

Loretta Thomas was a breast cancer survivor of more than four decades.

Her survivors include her husband, Gerald Thomas, of Topeka; three daughters, Jennifer Ybarra (David Tubbs) of Lawrence; Deborah Rumans (Larry) of Tucson, AZ, and Kathy Richardson (Jim) of Lindsborg. She also is survived by six grandchildren, Rachel Guffey (Jhami) of Lawrence; Sarah Ybarra of Lawrence; Daniel Orozco (Danielle) of Tucson, AZ; Matt Orozco (Rebecca) of Topeka; Nick Orozco of Topeka, and Tyler Richardson (Kristen Cloud-Richardson) of Lawrence; and four great-grandchildren: Aaron, Izabella, Allyson, and Logan Orozco of Topeka.

She also is survived by a twin sister, Loriene Strole of Topeka.

She was preceded in death by her parents and a sister, Dorothy Hite.

Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated for Mrs. Thomas at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, at Mater Dei Holy Name Catholic Church, 1114 SW 10th, Topeka KS 66604.

Burial will immediately follow at Mount Calvary Cemetery in Topeka.

Memorial contributions may be made to Midland Care Hospice or Mater Dei Parish, sent in care of Kevin Brennan Family Funeral Home, 2801 SW Urish Road, Topeka KS 66614.

Condolences may be sent online to

Funeral Home
Kevin Brennan Family Funeral Home
2801 SW Urish Road
Topeka, KS 66614
(785) 272-7888
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Published in Topeka Capital-Journal from Dec. 7 to Dec. 8, 2017
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