Cover photo for Susan Thomas's Obituary
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1944 Susan 2022

Susan Thomas

October 21, 1944 — February 2, 2022

Joplin, Missouri

Susan Thomas – Joplin MO

Susan Jane (Thein) Thomas, born October 21, 1944 to Kenneth E., and Dorothy J. Thein, surrounded by family, passed peacefully from this life into God’s Eternal Kingdom on Wednesday, February 2, 2022 following a seven year battle with a terminal lung disease (IPF).

Susan was raised in the St. Louis suburb of Webster Groves, MO, where she attended Webster Groves High School and where she met her future husband, Rev. Gary Thomas to whom she was united in holy matrimony, on December 27, 1962. To this union three children would be born, Cynthia Lynn (Cindy), Kenneth Paul (Kip), and Elizabeth Jane (Beth); five grandchildren: Corey, Zackary, Lauren, Tyler, and Katelyn; and three great-grandchildren: Holly, Jameson, and Amelia.

Throughout her life, in addition to being a wife and mother, Susan attended Northeast Missouri State University (Truman State) in Kirksville, Mo. for two years while she and Gary served three churches In Lancaster, Mo.  She was also employed outside the home: from the selling of medical equipment and prosthesis to hospitals, to insurance, to serving as a secretary (most recently as Secretary to the District Superintendent of the Southwest District, Missouri Annual Conference, of the United Methodist Church). For seven years she was employed by The March of Dimes as Director over fourteen counties in Southwest Missouri, overseeing programming and fund raising.  She also found time to serve 2 terms on a local school board (being the first woman ever elected in that community). With all of this, she still found time to be a full partner in her husband’s ministry; serving wherever she was needed from church secretary, to choir director, to youth minister.

Susan was a devout Christian!  God was her first love, followed by her family, friends, and all of God’s childrenregardless of who or what they were. She was, truly, a “bright light in the darkness” for all who knew her and, especially to her family – a true “North Star” pointing always to the way God wanted the world, and each of us, to be.  SHE WILL BE GREATLY MISSED, BUT WE REJOICE IN THE MEMORIES WE HAVE AND THE KNOWLEDGE THAT SHE IS NOW WITH HER GOD – A REMINDER FOR ALL THAT WITH GOD, “THE WORST IS NEVER THE LAST!”

Susan was preceded in death by her grandparents:  William and Pauline Thein and George and Minnie Tischler.

Her parents: Kenneth and Dorothy Thein,

Her sister, who died during childbirth and

Her brother-in-law Robert (Bob) Thomas.

Susan’s legacy and memory will be carried on throughher loving family:

Her husband, Gary Thomas of the home.

Her daughter, Cindy Gingerich and husband Tony of Blue Eye, Mo.

Her son, Kip Thomas and wife Lisa of Lincoln, Nebraska

Her daughter, Beth Thomas of Lawrence, Ks.

Her brother, David, with whom she had a special, loving, bond; and his wife Sheree of Leawood Ks.

Her sisters-in-laws, Lynn Hudson and husband Gerald of Brewton, Al, and Sandy Thomas of Maricopa, Az.

Her niece and nephews: Scott Thein and wife Katie, Stacey Thein Lindquist and husband Bobby, Travis Thein, Sarah Galetti and husband Jason, Kim Moran and husband Tim, Kristen Thacker and husband Shawn, Scott Thomas and wife Natalie and Mark Hudson, plus 13grand nephews and nieces.

She will always be remembered as a loving grandmother by Her grandsons, Corey Gingerich and wife Beki, Zackary Peters and fiancé Deven Knapp, and Tyler Thomas; also by her granddaughter’s: Lauren Thomas and partner Jon Blacksher, and Katelyn Thomas and partner Angelo Lara.

Her memory will also continue to live on through us for her great grandchildren, Holly, Jameson and Amelia.

As per Susan’s wish, an “immediate family only viewing” was held on February 4, and a celebration of Life is planned for May 14, 2022 (1:00PM – 3:00PM) at The Red Door Barn, 9164 State Hwy 43, Webb City, Mo. The family invites all of Susan’s friends to gather with us on this day to celebrate her life and Victory.  Until then, your thoughts and prayers are greatly appreciated.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Funeral home, Johnson County Funeral Chapel and Memorial Gardens, 11200 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park, Ks. 66210, in Susan’s name. These will then be divided between St. Judes Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tn, and The Visiting Nurses Hospice of Douglas County, Ks.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Susan Thomas, please visit our flower store.

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Johnson County Funeral Chapel

11200 Metcalf Ave, Overland Park, KS 66210

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