Enid C. Thomas 1927 - 2020
Norwich - Enid "Nikki" Caroline Thomas, 93, a 60+ year resident of Norwich, died on Saturday, October 3, 2020, in Lakeland, Tenn., surrounded by her family.
Nikki was born in Natick, Mass., on July 2, 1927, daughter of Carl Albert Yutzler (Jean) and Esther Laura Millard Johnson (David). Nikki was later adopted by Leewood H. Jones. Nikki spent most of her childhood in Natick and moved to Hallowell, Maine, when she was a junior and graduated from Coney High School in 1945.
Nikki attended Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, obtaining a degree in Sociology in 1949. After college, Nikki worked for about 8 years, for the Connecticut Department of Children and Families as a social worker, servicing Litchfield County. It was at Bates that Nikki met the love of her life, John Nelson Thomas, whom she married on August 26, 1950.
Nikki and John were married for 59+ years, and both resided in Norwich, until John's passing in April 2010.
While Nikki stayed home to raise her children, she earned her master's degree in Early Childhood Development from Eastern Connecticut State University, moving on to assist with the start-up of the Norwich Head Start Program. She further went on to teach kindergarten in the Norwich Public School System for about 28 years.
Nikki was an active member of Central Baptist Church for over 60 years and was active in Church Women United. She and John enjoyed building award-winning floats and costumes for the Rose Arts parade.
Nikki loved to sew, creating her daughters' dance recital costumes, holiday dresses, prom and pageant gowns, as well as, her children's Halloween costumes. She had a "green thumb" and loved houseplants, especially Orchids and Violets.
Nikki and John both loved the outdoors and spent much of their summer break at the beach or camping along the coast of Maine and Nova Scotia, near Nikki's grandparent's home. She and John loved to travel and both enjoyed dancing, especially square-dancing. She had a passion for animals, often rescuing and nursing them back to good health.
She enjoyed her lifelong friends, including her college roommates, those in her Sewing Club, College Club and Extension Club, just to name a few.
Nikki loved unconditionally and always found the good in everyone she met. She will always be remembered for her beautiful smile and her ability to engage people in conversation.
Besides her husband John, Nikki was predeceased by her sister, Claire and her husband Chester Weed, and her brother, Austin Jones. In addition, she was predeceased by John's sisters, Lorraine Thomas, Shirley Child (Walter) and Patricia Pitaro (Carl), and his brothers, James Thomas Jr. and Wayne Thomas (Ann). Nikki is survived by her three, beloved children, Gregory John Thomas (Cheryl), Debora Lynn Thomas, and Alison Thomas Nelson (Bruce), and her cherished grandchildren, Christopher Thomas (Charrissee), Timothy Thomas (Tina), Merlynda Sol, Matthew, Spencer, and Nicholas Nelson. In addition, Nikki is survived by her treasured sisters-in-law, Norma Jones and Anna Mae Thomas, plus many nieces and nephews.
The family would like to extend a warm "thank you" to the nurses and caregivers of Crossroads Hospice and the Baptist Reynolds Hospice House.
Due to the pandemic and according to Nikki's wishes, a celebration of life service will be planned in Connecticut for the Spring of 2021.
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Published by Norwich Bulletin from Oct. 15 to Oct. 17, 2020.