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Marie Odenheimer Thomas


1925 - 2015 Obituary Condolences
On November 12, 2015, heaven received another angel when our beloved and cherished Marie passed away after a long and valiant struggle with Parkinson's.� Her 90 years on this earth were lived to the fullest - she was a gentle, loving and compassionate woman who participated fully in life and who was always ready with a compliment or kind word and who endeavored to make the world a better place by devoting so much of her time and energy to philanthropy, civic activities and to her beautiful home and garden that she generously shared with others.� She was born in 1925 to Ukrainian emigrant parents in Thunder Bay, Canada, and came to the San Fernando Valley in the late 1940s and soon thereafter became an American citizen.� She loved this country and actively participated in many political organizations and fundraisers and on many occasions offered her home as a polling place. She also loved nothing more than to open her home and garden to host a social event and when visiting friends and family would always show up with a beautiful bouquet of flowers from her garden.� She also generously dedicated countless hours to charity work and was a member, as well as president, of several charitable and civic organizations, art, rose and orchid clubs.� As an accomplished artist, she brought beauty to those around her through her career in interior design, through her lovely paintings and with her garden, resplendent with over 300 rosebushes.� She acquired her first love of gardening from her mother whose victory garden was lush with vegetables, fruit and flowers.� She carried this passion throughout her life and created a beautiful haven in her garden and knew every botanical name for the flowers and plants she nurtured.� Roses were her great love and she eventually studied for and became a Consulting Rosarian.� Not only did she appreciate the splendor of nature and the finer things in life, she was a seeker of knowledge and had a lifelong love of books.� Some of her favorites were of poetry and she knew many by heart and also enjoyed composing many of her own.��She had a great love of music and knew the lyrics to many songs and it gave us great pleasure to hear her singing or whistling cheerfully while working in her kitchen.� She also loved fashion and dressed beautifully and had an extensive collection of gorgeous hats and gowns.� She is survived by her daughter, Barbara (Bonnie) Smith, and by the "love of her life" Robert Thomas, and her siblings Katherine, Annette and Walter, and nieces and nephews Martin, Patrick, Paul, Kimberly, Kelly, Kristina, Emerson, Paris, Ben, Aidan, Madeline and step-daughters Karen and Kaye. She was a true lady, a fine human being and a most generous and loving mother.� She touched the lives of so many in such a meaningful and positive way.� She often said "above all, be kind" and she exemplified this not just in word but in deed.� Marie was a cherished gift and will be so greatly missed and so lovingly remembered.��It is with infinite sadness that we bid adieu to this kind and gentle spirit. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to or to the San Fernando Valley Rose Society (http://www.sfvroses.org), the San Fernando Valley Orchid Society (http://www.SFVOS.com), the Valley Food Bank (http://valleyfoodbank.org), Los Angeles Mission (http://www.losangelesmission.org), Hillsdale College (http://www.hillsdale.edu), or Prager University (https://www.prageru.com). A special gathering to celebrate her life will be held at a date to be determined. "Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same."
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Nov. 23 to Nov. 29, 2015
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