We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Cawood Funeral Home
Betty Lou (née Gibson) Thomas of Laurel, Maryland, and formerly of Middlesboro, Kentucky, passed away on December 9, 2021, at the age of 80 years old. She was born on January 13, 1941, in Warren, Kentucky to Jesse and Elon (née Lawson) Gibson. She was married to her beloved husband Fred Kent Thomas, who preceded her in death on September 4, 2021, for almost 63 years.
Her husband served almost 25 years as an active-duty service member and another 25 years as a Department of Defense employee, in which she served alongside him as a proud military-connected wife. Throughout her husband's career, she and her family were stationed at or near military bases in Kentucky, Georgia, Michigan, Virginia, Korea, as well as multiple locations throughout Germany.
Betty was active in the military community. She always made herself available for ceremonies and sporting events to show her dedicated support for her husband, her children, and soldiers. Betty worked at several Post Thrift Stores on various military bases and even managed a Stars and Stripes Bookstore. Her efforts at the Stars and Stripes Bookstore resulted in her being recognized for the highest sales of all the bookstores in Germany.
Betty had a vivacious personality and always made people around her laugh. She made friends everywhere she went. Betty jumped at every opportunity to demonstrate her culinary arts skills, not only for her family and friends, but also to newly assigned families in the military community, and soldiers away from their families during holidays. She was fondly known as "Aunt Betty" or "Miss Betty" to many. Everyone she knew looked forward to sampling her incredible meals and her homemade candies every holiday.
Betty was a dedicated mother first and foremost. She loved being a mother and grandmother and never missed any of their events. She especially treasured her role as "Mammy" to her grandchildren and embraced every moment with them.
Betty will be remembered as a loving and devoted wife to her husband for nearly 63 years, as a loving and caring mother to her three children, and an incredible "Mammy" to her four grandchildren. She will be truly missed by all that she touched and loved her.
Betty is survived by her three children, Jerry (Julie) Thomas, Janet Thomas (Patrick) Sebring, and Fred Kenneth (Lizbeth) Thomas; her four grandchildren, Katelyn, Jadon, Jordon, and Fred Jr; her brothers, Joe Gibson, James (Patricia) Gibson, Don (Lana) Gibson, David (Phyllis) Gibson, and sister, Cora (née Gibson) Cass; brother-in-law, Willard Ray Thomas; and a great host of nieces and nephews; and their children.
In addition to her husband and her parents, Betty was preceded in death by her father-in-law, Alonzo Thomas, her mother-in-law, Mary Jane (née Haun) Thomas; four brothers, Leslie Gibson (infant), Calvin Gibson, Dewey Gibson, Michael Gibson, and sister, Mary Sue (née Gibson) Hatmaker; brothers-in-law, William E. Thomas, Herman S. Thomas, and H. Lowell Thomas, and Paul Cass); sisters-in-law, Loretta (née Brown) Gibson, Lillian Arlene (née Sevier) Thomas, Muriel (née Kizzia) Thomas, Geneva (née Cissell) Thomas, and Sue (née Mann) Thomas; and most recently, her dearest friend of 78 years, Patsy (née Barnwell) Jeffers.
While Betty’s family grieves her loss, they are choosing to remember her in a way that honors her spirit. Her family invites the community to join them in a Celebration of Life Ceremony on December 19, 2021, from 1 pm to 3 pm at Witzke Funeral Homes, Inc., 5555 Twin Knolls Road, Columbia, Maryland. She will be interred alongside her husband at Arlington National Cemetery, in Arlington, Virginia, in January 2022.
Cawood Funeral Home is honored to share this obituary as a courtesy to the family of Betty Lou (née Gibson) Thomas.