Lona Louise Ford Thomas Johnson Dunn

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Lona Louise Ford Thomas Johnson Dunn, 89, passed away on Saturday, November 3, 2012 in Conroe, Texas. Louise was born August 13, 1923 in Rolla, Arkansas to Jimmie and Della Ford. Her sisters were Coba and Hazel.

In 1936, Louise had the good fortune of marrying a true gentleman by the name of Clint Gordon Thomas and together they had two beautiful daughters, Betty Lou and Mary Sue upon whom Clint and Louise would lavish a lifetime of unconditional love. Following the completion of Clint's service in the Navy, the family moved to Houston, Texas where Clint and Louise founded and operated Thomas Appliance Sales and Service for some 38 years. Their grandchildren have fond memories of spending a lot of good times at the "shop" with them, wandering across the street to a local corner store for ice cold Dr. Pepper with peanuts in it and running down the street a little ways further to ride the ponies, Bobo and Trigger. Although in the latter years of Thomas Appliance they were no longer married, Clint and Louise continued to work together and maintained a lifelong friendship with each other.

Birthdays were a big occasion for Louise although the family cannot exactly remember how long she had been "39 and holdin'". As much as she loved to celebrate her birthdays she was even more excited celebrating other family member birthdays with some quite imaginative gifts. While an accomplished cook despite always saying "the oven was not quite right", one such celebration yielded the "gift that kept on giving". Seems that Louise put a tad too much Karo syrup on the frosting for one of the grandchildren's birthday cakes creating an impenetrable barrier through which no candles could be placed. The cake was preserved for several years and was presented at everyone's birthday whereupon the laughter would begin anew.

Although the family never heard from any filmmakers, it was quite possible the movie "Thelma and Louise" could have been patterned after some of Louise's life and her zest for living. At the ripe age of 80 and still ever the dreamer, Louise and her husband Robert Dunn sold their house in Dodge, Texas and bought themselves a fifth wheel travel trailer, a 1-ton dually truck and decided it was time to "hit the road". All this without even knowing how to back a trailer. Barely a week into their world travels, they had already knocked the air conditioner off the top of the trailer and managed to sweep the awning clean off the side. Undaunted, they had it repaired and hit the road again prompting the rest of the family to seriously consider calling all the state highway patrols to forewarn them of what was headed their way. Louise and Bob miraculously ended up journeying all the way to the far northwest United States...and back, no doubt laughing the entire way.

In retrospect, Louise's motto may have been similar to the following quote that reads....."Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, champagne in one hand, strawberries in the other, body thoroughly washed up, totally worn out and screaming WOO HOO- What a Ride!!"

Louise leaves behind a legacy of love and laughter. She was preceded in death by her parents, Jimmie and Della Ford, sisters Coba and Hazel, husbands Clint Gordon Thomas, George Johnson and Robert Dunn. She is survived by daughters Betty Lou Burton and husband John; and Susan Remington and husband Robert. Also surviving her are grandsons Greg Alger and wife Deann, John Alger and wife Leslie and Bradley Stephens. Her surviving granddaughters are Lisa Harris and husband Ricky, Kristi West and husband Pat, and Lynn Combs and husband Andy. While Louise deeply loved her children and grandchildren, she had a really special love for her surviving great-grandchildren Brooke, Blair, Blaine, Justin, Jacob, Andre, Paige, Michael Thomas, Jack and Lauren.

The family would like to extend its heartfelt gratitude to the staff of Park Manor Nursing Home for the genuine compassion, dedication and care they provided not only to Louise, but to our entire family as well. As Christmas was another one of Louise's favorite times, the family will have a time of celebration in her honor, and just maybe, we'll try and cook up her infamous cake with the impenetrable frosting.

It seems only fitting that on Sunday, Reverend Bob Murphy of First Presbyterian Church delivered a sermon appropriately entitled "The Final Chapter Is Not the End". Also included in this same service were the words of the following song:

"And he will raise you up on eagle's wings

Bear you on the breath of dawn

Make you shine like the sun

And hold you in the palm of his hand"

May you rest in peace till we meet again.

Published on yourconroenews.com from Nov. 7 to Nov. 20, 2012