Dorothy Conway Thomas, 77, passed peacefully on Wednesday, Nov. 28, at Memorial Medical Center in Las Cruces, N.M. Born in Prescott, Ariz., to Lewis and Jeanette Crowe, she touched the lives of many and will be deeply missed. Dorothy is survived by her husband Dean Thomas; brother Bill Crowe; sons John William Conway, Matthew Conway and his wife Lisa, and Christopher Conway; stepchildren Mike, Debbie, and Larry; eight grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. Dorothy was raised in Prescott and very involved in Prescott high school student activities and sports. Her parents owned and operated the Independent Cash Market, a local grocery store located next to the Prescott post office. Dorothy obtained her bachelor's degree in education from the University of Arizona in 1957 where she was a member of the Delta Gamma sorority, and her master's degree in education in 1962 from the University of Kansas. She taught elementary school in Nebraska, Kansas, and Alamogordo, N.M. where she settled and raised her family. Her stories of the children and grandchildren made for many laughs around the dinner table. She moved to Las Cruces in 1980 and joined the campaign of Joseph Richard "Joe" Skeen and served as his district director for the Las Cruces area during his 11 terms in Congress. From 1980 to 2003, she was a tireless advocate for Skeen's constituents in southern New Mexico, working hard to get their needs taken care of regardless of how big or small the request. She was always active in the Republican Party both locally and in Washington, attending the inauguration of George W. Bush in 2004. Dorothy served her community to the last, serving as board president of the Center for Spiritual Living for three years. She recently joined the board of directors at the Safe Haven Animal Sanctuary, and was also heavily involved in the local Hospitality Club. Throughout her life she unselfishly gave of herself and volunteered for causes she believed including CrimeStoppers, Red Ribbon Campaign, the Las Cruces Enchilada Fiesta and 4th of July boards, Toastmasters, among several others. Dorothy was a cancer survivor, diagnosed for the first time at 16 years of age. Her resiliency, raw courage and unfailing love were her most profound qualities and she was an inspiration to all who knew her. A memorial celebration will be held on Jan. 19, 2013 at the Center for Spiritual Living, 575 N Main St., Las Cruces, NM, 88001 at 5 p.m. so friends and family can come together and commemorate her wonderful life. In lieu of flowers or other gifts, we ask that monetary donations be sent in her name to the Center for Spiritual Living. We are trying to create a complete contact list of her very large circle of friends. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Lisa Conway at (575) 202-5925 with contact information. Arrangements are with La Paz-Graham's Funeral Home. To send condolences go to www.lapaz-grahams.com.
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Published in Las Cruces Sun-News on Dec. 8, 2012