Luella May Thomas
Luella May Thomas, 90, of Forestburg, died Saturday, March 30, 2019 at Avera Brady Health and Rehab. Funeral services will be 2:00 PM Saturday, April 13, 2019 at the Mitchell Wesleyan Church under the direction of the Bittner Funeral Chapel. Visitation will be from 5-7:00 pm on Friday at the Bittner Funeral Chapel. Burial will be in the Bonney Cemetery in Floyd Township, Sanborn County.
Luella May Connor was born April 30, 1928 in Albion, Michigan to Earl E. and Ruth Rhodes Connor. She attended elementary school there and graduated from Albion High School in 1945. After two years in nearby Spring Arbor College (now University), she graduated in 1951 from Greenville College (now University) with a degree in elementary education. Shortly after graduation, she returned to Michigan to marry Warren Thomas whom she had met during her senior year.
The couple moved to Mitchell, South Dakota where she was employed in the office of the public school on East Fifth Street. Her husband began his second teaching year at Longfellow Elementary when he was drafted into the army during the Korean War. During his year in the artillery in Korea, she lived with sister-in-law Ramona Thomas in Seattle, Washington, teaching in E. C. Hughes Elementary in West Seattle. Upon Warren's return in 1953, they both taught in West Seattle before returning to his parents' farm in Sanborn County in 1954. They lived in Floyd Township for 65 years prior to her death.
In 1955 Kevin Reed was born, followed by Lyndon Brent in 1959. After their sons were of school age, Lolly returned to teaching, first in Forestburg Elementary, and then for 23 years, she was a lower elementary teacher in Artesian. She retired in 1993. Home, community and Mitchell Wesleyan Church activities occupied her volunteering time in later years. She and Warren enjoyed a European Church His-tory tour provided by their sons in honor of their parents' 50th wedding anniversary in 2001. Several cruises took them to the Panama Canal and the western Caribbean, Hawaii, Alaska, and the Canadian Maritime provinces.
Lolly was church organist for some 20 years and gave piano lessons for neighborhood children. She loved gardening, scrapbooking, and family genealogy.
Family remaining include husband Warren; both sons, Kevin (Selena) and family; Lyndon (Kathy) and family; four sisters and husbands: Dorothy (Robert) Smith, Decatur, Illinois; Eleanor (Bill) Moore, Springfield, Missouri; Marti (John) Oakley, Concord, Michigan; and Katy (Stan) Chwatun, Jackson, Michigan; cousin Robert Connor and family of Indiana; and cousin Gladys Connor of Indiana; as well as a host of grandchildren, and nieces and nephews.
Church was an important entity to her but could not rival her commitment to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.