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Leona Thomas

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Leona Thomas Obituary
Leona J. Thomas, 97

Southbridge - Leona J. (O'Mara) Thomas, 97, of Dresser St., passed away on Wednesday, Aug. 8th, in the Harrington Memorial Hospital, Southbridge, surrounded by her family after a brief illness.

Her husband, Christopher G. "Keech" Thomas, died in 1990. She leaves her two daughters, Constance L'Ecuyer and her longtime companion Paul Galipeau of Southbridge and Holly Canales and her husband Roberto of Southbridge; her five grandchildren, Scott L'Ecuyer and his wife Cindy of Bethlehem, NH, Eric L'Ecuyer of Webster, Karen L'Ecuyer of Sturbridge and Quespos, Costa Rica, Christine Veshi, Woodstock, CT and Lee Canales of Southbridge; two great grandchildren, Abigail L'Ecuyer of Bethlehem, NH and Orie LaFleur of Woodstock, CT; a niece, Nancy Peccia of Redmond, OR; and a nephew, Dennis Oliver of Denver, CO. She was predeceased by her sisters, Francis Oliver and Betty Abraham. She was born in Holyoke, CO the daughter of Leo and Iva (Frances) O'Mara.

After graduating high school early and working for JC Penny in Colorado Leona moved to the East coast to be with her love Keech Thomas while he was in the military. They first lived in Washington, D.C. where Keech worked for the Secret Service and Leona worked in the Surgeon General's office. In 1944 Keech was proud to bring his striking bride to town.

Leona worked at Doris Dress Shop before joining the Thomas family business, Thomas Tire Company. The business was changed to Thomas' Variety after the flood of 1955. Keech and Leona became local fixtures of the community - for their generosity with free candy and Leona's fiery red hair. After Keech's passing in 1990 Leona continued to operate the store on her own until she was 80 years old. Leona dedicated long hours to running her store - seven days a week and never missing a holiday. Ever the ladylike wife, friend and business woman, she was also well-respected for her 'keep going' attitude and known to be feisty and strong-willed enough to face-off with a burglar, or two, in her store.

The only thing that the hard-working Mrs. T loved more than keeping the business running was her family. As a Mom, Nana and Great Nana B. she will be remembered as bright and witty, determined and stubborn and one classy fighter.

Calling hours for Leona will be held on Sunday, Aug. 12th, in the Daniel T. Morrill Funeral Home, 130 Hamilton St., Southbridge from 4:00 to 7:00pm. A graveside service for Leona in Oak Ridge Cemetery, Southbridge, will be private.

www.morrillfuneralhome.com
Published in Worcester Telegram & Gazette from Aug. 9 to Aug. 10, 2018
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