Jeanne Dales Thomas
April 6, 1922 - July 1, 2020
Jeanne Dales Thomas, 98, passed away peacefully in her own home in Salem on Wednesday, July 1 with her family by her side. A beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and friend, she lived a long and full life—loving, caring, organized, alert, and sharp until the very end.
Jeanne was born in Cleveland, Ohio on April 6, 1922 and lived at various locations in that city for the next 30 years. She was valedictorian of the class of 1940 at Lincoln High School. After graduation, she entered Wilcox Business College, later attended Fenn College, and worked as a secretary at the local YMCA.
During WWII she received a letter from a former high school classmate named Richard Thomas and they began a regular correspondence for the next several years. They were married on June 30, 1945, while Richard was on furlough shortly after the war ended in Europe. They raised two daughters and a son and were married for 64 years when Richard died in 2009. Jeanne’s last full day of life was her 75th wedding anniversary.
All her life, Jeanne was lovingly devoted to her family. She also worked as a secretary on and off for over forty years, serving in a church, a high school, a children’s home, and a real estate appraisal office. In 1966 the family moved across the country to Los Gatos, California and after Richard retired, the couple settled in Oregon.
Jeanne loved classical music. As a child, she studied ballet, violin and piano. Music was always playing on the radio or stereo set, and later Jeanne had many CDs which she enjoyed until her hearing loss made it impossible to listen. She was an expert at solving crossword puzzles, an activity in which she engaged daily until the day before her death.
Jeanne was deeply loved and will be forever missed by her three children, Jeanne (Rick) Eikrem, Sandra (Michael) Frazier, and Richard William Thomas, all of Salem; five grandchildren, Julia (Josh) Partlow, Brian (Cassy) Johnson, Seth (Scarlet) Eikrem, Nathan (Amanda) Eikrem, and Darren Johnson; eight great-grandchildren, Collyn, Connor, Cuylie, Cannen, Elsa, Ezra, Emery, and Lucy; and close family friend Annee Belanger.
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