Arlene Thomas
1930 - 2021

Thomas, Arlene Lucille

MADISON - Arlene Lucille Thomas was surrounded by the love of her family when she passed away on Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021. She came into the world on a snowy Feb. 28, 1930, in Marxville, Wis., the first daughter of Fenella (Ketelboeter) and Alvin Schumann. She and her sisters, Eunice and Judy, grew up helping in the Schumann store and skating and hiking at Indian Lake. She met the love of her life, George (Duke) Thomas, roller skating at Lilac Gardens in Mazomanie. When he pulled up on his Indian motorcycle she was smitten (her father was not sure about this rowdy guy!). On a beautiful spring day, May 27, 1950, they married at St. Paul's Church in Marxville. They were married for 52 years until George passed away in 2002. Lifelong resident of Middleton, and a member of St. Luke's Lutheran Church for 70 years, Mom's faith was a guiding principle in her life. She was kind and generous to everyone she met and especially to those she loved. She was blessed to have a close circle of friends for many years that met Sunday mornings for church and then breakfast, and for a Friday night fish-fry. She was a secretary for the Special Education Department of Middleton Public Schools for 25 years. She was proud of the fact she could type 100 wpm. She made many lifetime friends while she worked there.

But she was happiest surrounded by her family, and she created a happy, loving home for us. She enjoyed sewing, and created soft, snuggly flannel nightgowns (13 in all!) every Christmas, for each of her girls, young and old. She was a wonderful Mom, with many of our friends wishing she was their mom. She attended every ball game, concert or play for her kids and then her grandkids. She was an unforgettable grandma, spending time with each of all of her grandkids. She planned big sleepovers, park days, cookie decorating, and all kinds of adventures. She loved books and was always ready to stop what she was doing and read with one of the kids.

Arlene is survived by four children, Bonnie (Roger) Guest of Madison, Randy (Sharon) Thomas of Baraboo, Scott (Pattie) Thomas of Cross Plains and Tim (Geralyn) Thomas of Tomahawk. She is survived by two beloved sisters, Eunice Christiansen of Middleton and Judy (Randall) Schaefer of Hastings, Mich., and their children, who loved "Auntie." She is further survived by eight grandchildren, Melissa Denton, Jess Denton (Katie), Megan Sukowatey (Joe), Morgan Weisberger (Brian), Nicholas Thomas, Stacey Bauer (Brett), Sarah Ziemba (Ben) and Lisa Jensen (Matt). She was thrilled with the addition of 11 great-grandchildren, the newest one arriving in October. She will be dearly missed by all of us, but we'll remember her favorite saying: "This too shall pass."

A very special thank you to each of the caregivers at Brookdale Madison West Memory Care, and especially Katie Berge. Their patient, loving care made Mom's last days peaceful and comfortable.

A private family service will be held. Family and friends who wish to view services via LIVE STREAM may visit Arlene's obituary page at and click on the Live Webcast link at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021. A celebration of life will be held at a later date when it's safe to be together. Memorials may be made to St. Luke's Music Ministry, 7337 Hubbard Ave., Middleton, WI 53562 or Second Harvest Food Bank, 2802 Dairy Drive, Madison, WI 53718. Online condolences may be made at

Gunderson West

Funeral & Cremation Care

7435 University Ave.

(608) 831-6761

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Published by on Jan. 6, 2021.
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Funeral services provided by:
Gunderson West Funeral Home
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