Mary Maxine Thomas, 74, of West Manchester, passed away suddenly on Tuesday, June 11, 2013.
She was born Sept. 9, 1938 in Lima, to Robert and Mary Alice (McGinnis) Chapman. Maxine was the oldest of five daughters and was raised in West Minister. Growing up she became a remarkable seamstress making all of her own clothes and earning the title of Miss Wool Ohio for her award winning wool suit that she made. She was a 1956 graduate of Harrod High School and graduated from the Ohio State University in 1959 with a bachelor's degree in education. Following graduation, in lieu of giving a commencement speech for having the highest graduating honors, she chose to marry her college sweetheart Jim on Dec. 19, 1959. They moved to Urbana, and Maxine began her teaching career in Milford Center.
Shortly after, in 1962 they moved to West Manchester and she taught at Lewisburg for several years. In 1966 Maxine and Jim joined the Peace Corps and spent the next two years in Venezuela. Upon their return in 1968, they started a family together and their daughter Elizabeth was born. Maxine attended Miami University and received her certification to teach Spanish. For the next 17 years she taught Spanish at Preble Shawnee High School, later teaching her last five years at Greenville before retirement.
After retirement, still having the desire to learn more, she returned to Miami University to study Italian. She was an avid classical guitar player; loved traveling all over the world with Jim, especially to South American and Europe; loved ballroom dancing; and most of all educating young students for many years as a teacher. She was preceded in death by her parents.
She is survived by her husband of 53 years, James R. Thomas of West Manchester; daughter and son-in-law Elizabeth and Keith Arnold of the Chicago, Illinois area; granddaughter Eva Rose Arnold; sisters Jeanette (Mark) List of Grove City, Joanne (Tom) Guy of Elida, Lucille (Kenneth) Cummings of Waynesfield, and Helen (Robert) Gossard of Lima; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Funeral services were Sunday, June 16, at Girton Schmidt Boucher Gard Funeral Home. Memorial contributions may be sent to the Alzheimer's Association, Miami Valley Chapter, 3797 Summit Glen Drive, Suite 100, Dayton, OH 45449 or Monroe Township Food Bank, 1060 Foos Road, West Manchester, OH 45382. Online condolences and other remembrances may be sent to the family by visiting www.gsbfuneralhome.com.