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Barbara J. Thomas

April 26, 1933 March 30, 2019
Barbara J. Thomas
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Obituary for Barbara J. Thomas

Barbara Joan Thomas, 85

HARTFORD CITY - Barbara Joan (Stroble) Thomas, 85, passed away at 11:03 p.m. Saturday, March 30, 2019 at Parkview Regional Medical Center in Fort Wayne, IN.
Barbara Joan was born on April 26, 1933, the youngest of nine children born to Howard and Ellen (Willman) Stroble and raised on the “old home place” in Blackford County. A graduate of Hartford City High School in 1951, she excelled in accounting and went on to work at Citizen’s State Bank after graduation.
In 1955, she married John E. Thomas, a former Navy radar operator who served on the USS Devastator near the end of WWII. Together, they tackled life with hard work and resilience, building their first home with their own hands and raising their two children, Scott and Janet, near the extended Stroble and Thomas families around Hartford City.
In 1971, the couple took a leap of faith and moved their family to Elwood, IN, to open a Western Auto Store. They became faithful members of St. John Lutheran Church and Barbara joined Tri Kappa Sorority. Barbara and John made their Main Street home, with its welcoming front porch, a gathering place for family and friends.
Over the years, their family expanded with the addition of a daughter-in-law and four grandsons. Barbara was a loving grandmother with a mischievous sense of humor and a deep well of faith, service, responsibility, and tradition that she passed on to her grandchildren. She built a career in accounting and office administration, serving as Elwood’s City Clerk Treasurer for one term before accepting an administrative position with Roche Diagnostics in Indianapolis.
She was known as an excellent cook. Rhubarb Crunch, Christmas Candy, and Sunday Pot Roast were among her specialties. Her family will greatly miss gathering together to share the wonderful Christmas Eve dinners she planned and prepared.
In addition to her family, Barbara loved many things: flowers, especially calla lilies, which she carried in an elegant bouquet on her wedding day, hymns that she would hum as she worked in her kitchen, and the friendships she made, many of which lasted nearly her entire lifetime. She found her greatest joy in serving others, whether it was a neighbor, a friend or family member, her church, or her community.
She will be sadly missed by her son, Scott (wife Mitzi) Thomas of Fort Wayne and daughter, Janet K. Thomas of Sarasota, FL, grandsons Alex (Tessa), Aaron (Brittany), Samuel, and Ethan, great grandchildren Charlie and Maggie, her sister Mary Ellen DuBois, sisters-in-law, Helen I. Stroble, Myrna Stroble and Judy Stroble and several nieces and nephews.
She is preceded in death by her beloved husband John, her parents Howard and Ellen, her brothers Blaine, Howard, and Richard, and her sisters, Charlotte, Wilma, Rhea, and Joyce.
Funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 6, 2019 at Zion Lutheran Church, 308 S. Monroe St. Hartford City with Rev. David Fleener officiating. Burial will follow at Greenlawn Cemetery, Hartford City.
Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, April 5, 2019 at Keplinger Funeral Home, 509 N. High St. Hartford City and from 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday April 6, 2019 at Zion Lutheran Church.
Memorials may be made to Alzheimer’s Research, 225 N. Michigan Ave., Fl. 17, Chicago, IL 60601
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