Irene M. Thomas

Obituary
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    - Carol Shoener
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    - Rosalie Aungst Miller
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June 18, 2014

Irene M. Thomas, 95, of Trumbo Road, Pine Grove, entered into God's eternal care peacefully Wednesday with family by her side.

Born in Pine Grove, she was a daughter of the late Charles and Jennie Mease Umbenhauer and George W. Lehman.

A 1935 graduate of Pine Grove High School and 1937 graduate of Kutztown University, Irene taught for three years thereafter in the one-room schoolhouse in Paradise, Pine Grove Township. As a permanent substitute teacher, she taught fifth grade and special education at the Pine Grove Area Elementary School for several years. From 1964 to 1980, she taught weekday church school for the Pine Grove Area Council of Churches.

She was a member of Jacob's Lutheran Church, where she taught Sunday school for many years and was a member and served as president of the local chapter of the Women's Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. She compiled and authored "A History of Jacob's Lutheran Church."

Irene was very active in the community, serving at different times as membership chairwoman, secretary and president of American Legion Post 374 Auxiliary. She raised funds annually for the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, Boy Scouts and the Veterans Association. She was a contact person for Meals on Wheels and served as program chairwoman for the Pine Grove Area Senior Citizens Association.

For many years, she served on the board of directors of the Pine Grove Area High School Alumni Association, from which she received its Distinguished Alumna Award in 2004. She also received a Friend of Education Award from the Pine Grove Area Council of Churches and received WGAL-TV's Good Neighbor Award for her years of volunteer work.

In addition to her parents and stepfather, she was preceded in death by her husband, William H. Thomas Sr., in 1975; brothers, Elmer (in infancy) and Alvin Umbenhauer and Harold Lehman; and a sister, Marie Lehman Schneck Wolfe.

Surviving are a daughter, Judith Aungst and her husband, Allen, Pine Grove; and sons, William H. Thomas Jr. and his wife, Donna, Lebanon, and Keith Thomas, Biglerville, and his fiancee, Sandra Butler, Rock. Grams is survived by seven grandchildren, Susan Aungst Myers and husband, Richard, Allen "Art" Aungst Jr., Karen Aungst, Christian Thomas and wife, Deborah, Shane Thomas and wife, Joelle, Virginia Thomas Anderson and husband, Stephen, and Laura Thomas Chickson and husband, James Jr.; 16 great-grandchildren; and seven great-great-grandchildren. Irene is also survived by sisters, Arletta Lehman Brown and Rachel Lehman Salen and her husband, Charles "Sam;" sister-in-law, Mary Andresky Lehman; nieces and nephews; and myriad friends.

A service of Christian Burial will be held at 3 p.m. Friday at St. John's Lutheran Church, 222 S. Tulpehocken St., Pine Grove, with the Rev. Barry Spatz officiating. Interment will follow in St. John's cemetery. The family will receive friends and relatives from 1 to 3 p.m. at the church and has requested that, in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to the Pine Grove Area Council of Churches, c/o Cathy Nagle, 527 Dad Burnhams Road, Schuylkill Haven, PA 17972-9572 in support of the Bible School and the council's local food pantry. Funeral arrangements are being handled by H.L. Snyder Funeral Home Inc., Pine Grove.

Funeral Home
H L Snyder Funeral Home Inc
139 S Tulpehocken St
Pine Grove, PA 17963
(570) 345-2266
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Published in Republican & Herald on June 24, 2014