Carol J. Thomas
Carol Joyce Thomas, age 86, of Aurora, passed away on Saturday, March 11, 2023 at Edgewood Vista in Grand Island.
Funeral Services will be held at 10:30 A.M., Saturday, March 18, 2023 at Westside Covenant Church, 1009 1st Street, Aurora. Rev. Karl Larson will officiate. Interment will follow in the Aurora Cemetery. Visitation will be from 5 - 7 P.M. Friday at the church. Memorials may be made in care of the family to be designated at a later date. Higby-McQuiston Mortuary is in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be e-mailed to the family through the mortuary website at www.higbymortuary.com.
OBITUARY: CAROL THOMAS
Carol was born on Christmas Day in 1936 to James W. Jr. and Maggie Belle Weathersby in Okeene, Oklahoma. She grew up in Okeene and graduated from Okeene High School, then attended business school in Oklahoma City. While there she met John G. Thomas at a dance at Tinker Air Force Base. John and Carol were married on March 23, 1957 and began a life together that would take them across the country, making homes in Baker, CA; Kansas City, KS; Pittsburg, KS; Grand Island, NE; Conyngham, PA; Washington Court House, OH; Americus, GA; Shawnee, KS; and, finally, in January 1972, Aurora, NE. Along the way Robin, John W., Stacie, and Wendy were born. Carol was a terrific mom and held the family together when John was frequently out of town on business and then throughout his health problems. She was strict, but not too strict and as one close friend put it - "Non-judgmental with teenagers that may have gotten arrested, mistakenly..."
In 1981, at the age of 44 and with the help of her husband John, Carol opened her own real estate office at the Farmers State Bank Drive-In in Aurora. As a late-blooming entrepreneur she successfully ran that business until 2019. At the age of 82 and not one to shy away from work, she still went to the office every day, including some nights and weekends, providing excellent customer service to clients and customers. Over the years she was also active in community organizations including the Aurora Chamber of Commerce, serving as its President in 1988 and chairing the Annual Banquet committee for several years. She was a long-time member of the Aurora Rotary Club and served as its first female president in 1992 and 1993. Carol was an active member of the Evangelical Covenant Church in Aurora and the Beta Sigma Phi sorority, served Meals on Wheels for many years, was a Teammates mentor and was an occasional, but admittedly not very good, bridge player. In 1981, when her business was first established, the real estate business in Aurora was dominated by men. Carol soon changed that and for nearly 40 years was a dominant force in Aurora and Hamilton County real estate brokerage. With a reputation for honesty and excellent customer service, her business thrived and customers were frequently heard making comments such as - "she's so nice, we just love her" or "go to Carol, she's the best". Her impact on families seeking and selling homes in the Aurora area is immeasurable. She was presented the Aurora Chamber of Commerce Gold Award in 2017.
After 28 years of marriage, John passed away, on June 2, 1985 at the age of 51. Several years later, on January 2, 1998, apparently unable to resist the allure of those Thomas boys a second time, Carol married Roy Thomas, John's first cousin and childhood partner in crime, from somewhere south of here. "I'll tell you one thing", Roy made things interesting for Carol and the folks in Aurora for a few years. Roy passed away on June 18, 2016 at the age of 85.
The last years of Carol's life were difficult as her health and memory deteriorated but she never lost her wonderful smile. The family expresses gratitude for the efforts of the staffs of Edgewood Vista in both Grand Island and Omaha, East Park Villa and Memorial Community Care in Aurora, and Bickford in Grand Island for their support and loving care of Carol during that time.
Carol was preceded in death by her two husbands and her parents. Also preceding her in death were her brother, James W. Weathersby III, and her two sisters and their husbands, Margaret and Art Hutchison, and Janie and Cecil Brocklehurst.
Those left to cherish her memory are her children, Robin and her husband Kip Hurley of Highlands Ranch, CO, John W. and his wife Nancy Thomas of Aurora, Stacie Hamel of Omaha, Wendy and her husband Brent Dethlefs, also of Aurora and Roy’s children, Bretta Howard of Villa Rica, GA, Randy Thomas of Houston, TX, Angela Thomas of Houston, TX, Tammie Thomas of San Antonio, TX and Aimee (Russell) Goodwin of Bryan, TX. Grandchildren include Michael (Rebecca Smock) Hurley of Miami, FL, Carly(Quocan Nguyen) Hurley of Highlands Ranch, John A.(Aleta) Thomas of Grand Island, Nathaniel(Emma Smith) Chitwood of McCook, NE, Michael(Hannah Luber) Chitwood of Aurora, Chloe Hamel of Omaha, Sophie(Kodee Archuleta) Hamel of Boise, ID, and Samuel(Hannah) Wiarda of Lincoln. Great grandchildren include Lillie, Elise, Isabelle, Lily, Piper, Chase, Eleanor, Beau, Stella, Wesson, and at least one on the way. Also survived by many other relatives, friends, co-workers, and former customers. She will be greatly missed.