Shirley E Thomas
As she wished, Shirley E. Thomas passed away peacefully in her sleep, in her own bed, on January 9, 2017, at the age of 92. She was born in Sydney, Australia on April 17, 1924, to Jack and Marie Thompson.
Shirley would be the first to tell you she was blessed and loved her whole life. Many of her life lessons and respect for others came from her family’s ownership of a general mercantile and later a respected hotel in Mackay, Australia. Her family also spent time at their Seaforth property or station (3000 hectares) with sheep, cattle, dogs, horses and lots of kangaroos and dingos. Shirley has many pictures of numerous friends hanging out at Eimeo or Blacks Beach and she had amusing stories of boarding school and instigating mischief. If you knew Shirley you would see that twinkle in her eye right now.
Shirley met her husband Marion at the hotel in Mackay. He was a radar officer during the campaign in the South Pacific for the U.S. Army Air Corp. They were married in Lincoln, Nebraska on November 23, 1946 and lived in Bartlesville, OK until 1951 when they moved to Idaho Falls, ID. Together they raised five children, took us camping, skiing, to the Oregon coast, and ice-skating in the backyard. Mom and Dad were very involved in the Girl Scouts Camp Ta-man-a-wis and Pine Creek Ranch as well as instructors at KIFI Ski School at Pine Basin. They were also involved in the Tree of Life Prayer Group and Holy Rosary Church. After Dad retired in 1984, they traveled extensively and spent many winters in Surprise, AZ and made many dear friends.
Shirley moved to Boise about ten years ago and enjoyed spending time with family; kids, grandchildren and their children. She continued to make numerous friendships and was involved with Sacred Heart Church. Shirley would encourage you to brighten a stranger’s day by talking to them (it couldn’t hurt) and praising the Lord for red lights too. We will miss you Shirley.
Four daughters, her number one son, thirteen grandchildren and six and one-half great grandchildren survive Shirley. A celebration of Shirley’s life will be held in July.
My folks lived on “F” Street when Marion and Shirley lived there. My sister, Donna, enjoyed ice skating in the backyard at the Thomas home. My husband, Tom, and Al both worked at ETR under Marion.. Al and I have been together since 2009 after both of our spouses died. We visited Shirley in Boise in 2010 after Al moved to Boise. Our condolences to the family.
“…see that twinkle in her eye….” Shirley in a nutshell. My wife Nancy and I had the joy of knowing Shirley and ‘Tommy’ back in the early Phillips days at the site, transitioning with them to Basic American Foods, skiing with them at Pine Basin. They were a delight at company social gatherings. ‘Tommy’ was my hero, to whom the word “cool” applied back in the day when it was just a temperature measurement. DAKs slacks and Porches, intellect and humanity.
I’m glad Shirley got her wish, slipping away quietly on her terms. God Bless.
I feel blessed that I had the privilege of knowing and caring for such a wonderful person. I look forward to laughing with her again in Heaven.
Jan, Lynn and family, I was very saddened to hear about your mom. I think often of the great talks and fun we use to have when I visited your folks in Idaho Falls. I never knew where they moved, funny thing is now I am in Surprise, AZ. Again I’m very sorry for your loss, you all will be in my thoughts and prayers..
It was my joy and privilege to know and love the Thomas family as we spent days at Ta-man-a-wis and Pine Creek. Shirley was a mentor to me in so many ways. A women of class and grace yet filled with love and compassion. My love and blessings of comfort are with you.