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1926 Margery Thomas 2024

Margery Thomas

May 9, 1926 — January 18, 2024

Kalamazoo, MI

Margery (Marge) Thayer Hobson Thomas was born May 9, 1926 to the Rt. Rev. Henry Wise Hobson and Edmonia Bryan Hobson. She was the youngest of four children and grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, where her father was the bishop of the southern diocese of Ohio. She attended the Chatham Hall School in Virginia and graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a BA in economics, the only woman at that time majoring in economics. Following graduation, she worked in advertising in New York City, and in 1955, she married Gerard Thomas. They moved to Kalamazoo, Michigan in 1957 where they remained throughout their lives.

Anyone who knew our mother, knew she was memorable. Six feet tall, strawberry blonde hair, a great laugh, and very much in charge. In some ways, she was born before her time. A natural athlete with a strong competitive streak, she played multiple sports in high school and college, and continued with tennis, golf and paddle tennis all her life. She loved numbers and math. She spoke her mind. She competed with abandon. 

Without question, Gerry Thomas was the enduring love of Marge’s life. They were married 55 years until Gerry’s death in 2010. Their three children, eight grandchildren and seven great grandchildren all benefited from their long and unusually happy marriage. In Kalamazoo they were fortunate to be surrounded by a group of friends and families that shared skiing, skating, tennis, Lake Michigan, Christmas Eves and over a half century of friendship.

Throughout her life, Marge was an active volunteer, tutoring, driving for Meals on Wheels each Monday and serving on various boards. She generously supported many community non-profits  (almost always anonymously). She and Gerry cared deeply about education and the need for strong public education. They believed children’s futures depended on learning to read, and in 2007, they established the Thomas Family Early Literacy and Reading Recovery Fund for Kalamazoo Public Schools at the Kalamazoo Foundation to provide teacher training and support throughout the entire district. Since then, literally thousands of students have benefitted from the training, support and tutoring made possible through those programs.

While dementia compromised mom’s last decade, she remained cheerful, funny, appreciative, a lover of people and music and her family.  She was blessed with a caretaking team that was extraordinary in their care of her, remaining with her throughout covid and later as she needed ever increasing care.

To Marge, the people she loved were ‘keepers.” At 97, she is still a “keeper” for all of us.

Marge is survived by her three children, daughters, Monie Hardwick (Chan); Anne McCormack (Todd); son, Danforth Thomas (Junko); eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. A memorial service will be held Monday, January 29 at 10:30 AM at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church at 247 W Lovell St, Kalamazoo MI 49007.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider a memorial donation to the Early Literacy and Reading Recovery Fund at the following link: https://bit.ly/ThomasFamilyFund or to a charity of your choice.

To share a memory or leave a condolence for the family visit https://www.langelands.com.

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Memorial Service

Monday, January 29, 2024

Starts at 10:30 am (Eastern time)

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