Obituary Details

Vesta Helena Thomas

(07/07/1912 - 02/01/2008)
Courtesy of The Lusk Herald, 01/06/2008

Vesta Helena Thomas

Funeral services for Vesta Helena Thomas were held Feb. 4, 2008 at the First Baptist Church of Lusk with Pastor Tom Strock officiating. Burial followed at the Lusk Cemetery. Vesta passed away Feb. 1, 2008, at Life Care Center of Casper.

Vesta, a Wyoming native for 95 years, was born in the family homestead west of Lusk, July 7, 1912. She was the daughter of Jalmer and Anna Mae (Armstrong) Thon. She was the only daughter with three adoring brothers.

She shared the honor of valedictorian with her brother Johnnie upon their graduation from high school in Lusk. Following high school, she received further education and began teaching. She taught in several rural schools in Niobrara County and was remembered fondly over the years by many of her students.

Vesta met the love of her life and married William Lee Thomas May 21, 1938 in Ainsworth, Neb. They were married 47 years before Lee's death in 1985. To that union four children were born. They spent their early marriage on a farm north of Keeline, where Lee farmed and helped his father. They moved to Keeline in 1947 and Lee became postmaster. Vesta substitute taught for many years and was also substitute postmaster.

She loved to cook and her family and friends thought Vesta's rolls, chocolate cake and pies were the best in the world. She loved her garden and was a great person for making and sewing clothes, dolls and anything for her family. She was active in 4H leadership and the 5280 Extension Club. She was known as the "laundry lady" in the neighborhood, as she usually had a line of fresh clothes fluttering in the Wyoming wind.

She is survived by her daughter Helene Kane and husband Dick of Douglas; son Wayne Thomas of Indianapolis; daughter LaDonna Schmidt and husband Randy of Scottsbluff, Neb.; and seven grandchildren, Teresa Neal and husband Dean, Rich Kane and wife Renee, Heather Zahn and husband Lee, Bryan Schmidt and wife Shannon, Brandon Schmidt and wife Sarah, Melissa Otterman and husband Nick, and Sarah Thomas. Other survivors include nine great-grandchildren, four nephews, one niece, and sisters-in-law Margaret Thon of Casper; Helen Thon of Denver; and Betty Thomas of Arizona.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; daughter Rhonda; one great-granddaughter; her brothers Johnnie, Bernard, and Elmer; and two nephews.

The family suggests memorials to either the Wyoming Services for the Visually Impaired, 2161 Coffeen Ave., Sheridan, WY 82801; or a charity of the donor's choice.

Pier Funeral Home in Lusk is in charge of arrangements.

Images & Attachments

Lee and Vesta Thomas in 1974 at Lee's retirement party where he was presented a certificate for 27 years of service.
Lee and Vesta Thomas, 1938
Photo/Debbie Rose

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