Shirley L. Thomas, 79, of Etowah, North Carolina, went to be with her Lord on Sunday, November 5 at Pardee Hospital after an unexpected brief illness. Born in Newfoundland, Canada on November 27, 1937, Shirley was the oldest child of William and Rebecca Andrews. She married Kenneth Thomas on December 6, 1956 while he was stationed at Pepperrell AFB in St. John’s, NFLD. They moved to the United States in 1958 and lived mostly in San Diego, California where she worked at Sweetwater Union High School for 27 years and was a girl scout leader. Upon retirement, they moved to Etowah, NC in 1996.
Preceded in death by her parents and husband, Shirley was mother to six children: Deborah Riggs of San Diego, Sherry Baker of Mills River NC, Ed Thomas (Kelli) of Matthews NC, Michele Quick (Gordon) of Franklinton NC, Joanna Frick (Sonny) of Abilene TX, and Kathy Ascher (Nate) of San Diego. She is also survived by her sister, Edna Higdon (Allan) and her brother Calvin Andrews (Wavey), both of Newfoundland, 11 grandchildren (Jason, Chad, Chris, Sean, Katie, Sara, Drew, Megan, Rebecca, Garrett, and Max), and five great grandchildren.
Shirley was immersed in the Etowah community through long-standing involvements with a variety of organizations. As a faithful member of Etowah United Methodist Church, she helped establish the Fishes and Loaves ministry at the church and coordinated bereavement support there for many years. She also enjoyed volunteering with the Council on Aging in Etowah. Shirley’s hobbies included traveling and spending time with her dear friends, quilting, stained-glass crafting and gardening. She was especially known and appreciated for her gift of hospitality.
A memorial service to commemorate the life of Shirley Thomas will be held at 6:00pm on Friday, November 10 at Etowah United Methodist Church. A reception will follow in the church fellowship hall. In lieu of flowers, the family has requests donations be made (designated for Shirley Thomas memorial) to the Council on Aging of Henderson County online at www.coahc.org or by mail to 105 King Creek Blvd, Hendersonville, NC 28792.
Date: Friday, November 10, 2017
Time: 6:00 pm
Etowah United Methodist Church
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