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Mary Wright Thomas

1922 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Mary Wright Thomas Obituary
MARY WRIGHT THOMAS On November 15, 2016, a band of angels came for Mary Wright Thomas. She was 94 and lived a full and wonderful life. Mary was born in Pomona, CA on June 28, 1922 and was the eldest daughter of Ross and Esther Wright. She grew up in Glendora, CA amongst orange groves long before urban sprawl and freeways. Her childhood was idyllic, much like the Southern California captured in the watercolors of Rex Brandt. After graduating from Citrus High, Mary embarked on the great adventure of attending the University of Oregon in the small Willamette Valley town of Eugene. She knew no one at the school when she boarded the train but that would soon change. Mary thrived as an Oregon Duck and was heavily involved in campus life, including pledging Gamma Phi Beta and becoming its President in her senior year. She graduated with a B.S. in Business Administration. At Oregon, she met a handsome pole vaulter (later track team captain), Homer Thomas. They were married at Fort Benning, GA in 1944 and their love story lasted 66 years until Homer's passing in 2010. In 1948, their son, Bill, was born. In the same year, Homer and Mary moved to Riverside where Homer joined his father-in-law in running Star Milling Company, a feed mill business. Mary loved Riverside and quickly developed a large and wonderful circle of friends that remained close for decades. She was well known as a charming hostess, gleefully organizing gatherings large and small. Among other things, she was a founding member of the Junior Aid (now Junior League), Riverside Children's Theatre and the Riverside Art Museum. She was an enthusiastic member of her local country club, the Victoria Club. She was a superb bridge player and excellent tennis player but the game she most enjoyed was golf. She played courses worldwide and played a regular game weekly until the final week of her life. She had a tremendous passion for travel and exploring different cultures. Over the years, Mary and Homer visited every state in the U.S. and most every country in the world. Among her favorite traveling companions were her sister, Virginia, and Virginia's husband, Tom. Some of her favorite times were many Fourth of July trips to the Shasta Lake cabin of her dear friends, the Penberthys, summers on Balboa Island and ski trips to Park City, Sun Valley, Aspen, and Mammoth. A vibrant personality, Mary always displayed boundless positivity and genuine interest in others. She had a sharp intellect and a voracious appetite for books. She is survived by her son, Bill, and his wife, Terre, of Riverside; her grandchildren, Kelly and Tracy, of Newport Beach; her nephew John Melin of Sun Valley, Idaho; her nephew Ross Melin of Indian Wells; her niece Mary Heckmann of Palm Desert and her nephew Dave Melin of Mercer Island, Washington and their families. A Celebration of Life will be held Friday, December 2 at 11:00am at the Victoria Club located at 2521 Arroyo Drive, Riverside, California, 92506. Burial will be private. Arrangements are being handled by Preston & Simons Mortuary. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to either Victoria Avenue Forever (www.victoriaavenueforever.org) or Poly High School Boys Golf, at 5450 Victoria Ave, Riverside, CA 92506, for the Annual Homer Thomas Classic Golf Tournament for regional high schools.

Published in Press-Enterprise from Nov. 18 to Nov. 20, 2016
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