I have many fond memories of Marian when growing up. So many, it's hard to list them all. Mostly I'll remember all the gatherings of relatives she hosted at her house over the years, and the fun times had. Also, the fall sweatshirt she wore to every family reunion in Oct., with the colorful leaves on it.
MARIAN C. THOMAS
LEE SUMMIT, Missouri - Marian Catherine (Van Gent) Thomas, 94, formally of Muscatine, was called home to be with her Lord, Monday morning, August 7, 2017, at the Wilshire Senior Care Facility in Lee's Summit, after a brief illness with a respiratory infection.
Funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. on Friday, August 11, 2017, at the Ralph J. Wittich-Riley-Freers Funeral Home. Dr. Bruce Ursin of Wesley United Methodist Church, Muscatine, will officiate. Burial will take place in Greenwood Cemetery. Visitation will be from 10:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. on Friday, August 11, 2017, at the funeral home. Online condolences: www.wittichfuneralhome.com.
Marian was born July 1, 1923, the oldest daughter of William and Clara (Wiese) Van Gent in Muscatine. She graduated from Muscatine High School, Class of 1940. She received her undergraduate degrees form Muscatine Community College and Drake University. She received her Master's Degree from the University of Iowa in 1973.
Marian was an excellent first grade teacher during her professional life, touching and influencing many lives. She found such joy in teaching children to read. She taught in Nevada, Iowa, Aledo, Illinois, and in Muscatine at Jefferson, Franklin, and McKinley schools. She retired from teaching in 1986 and loved to travel during her retirement.
She was a ling-time member of Wesley United Methodist Church, where she was very active in many ways. She was a member of the Sunday School Orchestra that went to Washington, D.C. and met Eleanor Roosevelt in 1937. She helped start the "Come Double" Sunday school class. She taught Sunday school, served at funeral luncheons, and was a Stephen's Minister. She was secretary for the Ruth Circle Fellowship Group and member of United Methodist Women for many years. She was also a member of the Electra Chapter of Eastern Star.
Marian married the love of her life, Forrest M. Thomas, August 28, 1948, at First Methodist Church in Muscatine. He preceded her in death in 1965.
She took such pleasure in being with her family. Her favorite annual event was the Wiese Reunion held at Wild Cat Den State Park. Marian was a loving, caring mother and grandmother, and made sure she went to as many of her children's and grandchildren's school and church programs as she could.
In September of 2014, Marian moved to an assisted living facility in the Kansas City area to be closer to her son and grandchildren there.
Those left to cherish Marian's memory include; her daughter, Laurinda (Dennis) Brimeyer of Dubuque, Iowa, and son, Tom (Rebecca) Thomas of Lee Summit; grandchildren, Julia (Matt) Hensch, Alex (Stephany) Brimeyer, all of Bettendorf, Iowa, Andrew (Emily) Thomas, Ben, Brynnley, and Aaron Thomas, all of Lee's Summit; a great-grand daughter, Fiona Hensch; sister-in-law, Jane Thomas of Cedar Falls, Iowa; brothers in-law, Danial Kraklow of Muscatine and Lytle Kistler of Brownsville, Texas; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
She was preceded in death by her parents in 1951; her beloved sisters, Emily Reist and Ann Kraklow; in-laws, Charles Reist, Donald Thomas, Vaughn Thomas, and Janet Kistler.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Wesley United Methodist Church of Muscatine or St. Luke's United Methodist Church of Dubuque.
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