Paula Thomas

Obituary
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    - Peggy Grona
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Paula Ann Orcutt Thomas passed away November 7, 2014. She was born to Gilbert and Pauline Orcutt July 11, 1950 in Dallas, Texas. In 1968, she graduated magna cum laude from Bryan Adams High School where she was active in BA Belles, sang and accompanied in the concert choir, and played on the tennis team. She attended Vanderbilt University, graduating (BA, Mathematics) Phi Beta Kappa in 1972. She sang all 4 years in the VU Concert Choir and was active in Kappa Delta sorority.

Paula's first career was with IBM Corp where she worked as a Systems Engineer, Executive Instructor, and Engineering Manager. During those 12 years, she lived in Oklahoma, California, and Virginia. While in California, she met and married her husband Stan, with whom she shared her lifelong "favorite career" of 33 years as wife, parent, and community service volunteer. They raised two beautiful daughters while living 20 years in Houston.

Paula's community interests in Houston centered on public education and the encouragement of young girls to enter technical fields. Beyond being recognized as an Honorary Member of the Texas PTA for her many roles in PTA over the years, she also was elected to the Clear Creek ISD school board on which she served 5 years. In 1996, she started the local chapter of "Expanding Your Horizons" Math/Science Conference in Clear Lake which still attracts several hundred intermediate girls from 5 school districts bi-annually. Paula was also active in Clear Lake Presbyterian Church - teaching the children's choir, accompanying their musicals, and singing in the chancel choir during her years in Clear Lake.

She and Stan moved as empty nesters to Fort Worth in 2005. There, Paula returned to full-time work at Lockheed-Martin, enjoyed her gardening, and found her new church home - Arborlawn United Methodist Church. The church became her base for singing in the choir, exploring scripture, and serving on committees. When Paula retired from LMCO due to her disease, the church became her focus for volunteer work. In between, she also supported American Association of University Women, YWCA, and - most recently - the Colon Cancer Alliance.

Paula loved God and His angels that she found at every church home she had throughout her life. She sang His praises and served Him through worship, volunteering, and mentorship of others. Paula often said she led a blessed life which she led to the fullest and considered her greatest blessings to be her daughters, and Stan - the most loving husband and best partner through life. She loved her life on earth and looked forward to seeing the Lord in her eternal life.

Paula is survived by her husband Stanley; daughters Kathryn Thomas (fiancé Jeffery Slack) and Elizabeth Thomas Schleif (husband Benjamin); her sister Pam Arthur (husband Ricky); nephew Brian Arthur and niece Amy Arthur.

Family will receive visitors on Friday, November 21, from 5-8 pm. A Memorial Service celebrating Paula's life will be held on Saturday, November 22, at 2 pm. Both events will take place at Arborlawn United Methodist Church; 5001 Briarhaven Road, Fort Worth, Texas 76109.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Arborlawn United Methodist Church's Ascension Garden Fund, the Clear Creek ISD Educational Foundation, or the Paula Thomas - Trailblazer Memorial Fund, found under the Blue Star Tribute section of the Colon Cancer Alliance website.


Published on yourbayareanews.com from Nov. 17 to Nov. 30, 2014
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