Cover photo for Verla Thomas's Obituary
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1925 Verla 2011

Verla Thomas

September 30, 1925 — December 29, 2011

Funeral services for Verla Thomas, age 86, of Ortonville, Minnesota, will be held on Monday, January 2, 2012, beginning at 10:00 a.m. at First English Lutheran Church in Ortonville, Minnesota. Visitation will be Sunday evening, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., at Larson Funeral Home in Ortonville and one hour prior to the service at the church. Rev. Marlene Elmstrom will officiate. Burial will be in Mound Cemetery.

Verla Verna Thomas, the daughter of Arthur and Clara (Milbrandt) Witte, was born on a farm near Bellingham, Minnesota on September 30, 1925. She was baptized on April 18, 1926 and confirmed in the Christian faith on March 28, 1937; both sacraments were officiated by Rev. Schendel at the Bellingham Lutheran Church. Verla spent her early years on the family farm. Her family then moved to town where her father was the town constable. Verla worked as a waitress in Bellingham. She attended and graduated from Bellingham High School in 1943. After graduation, the JC Penney store in Ortonville hired Verla and that is where she worked for the next three years. It was during that time that she met Clarence (Tommy) Thomas, who would come into the store to see his sister who also worked there!

Verla and Tommy Thomas were married on April 11, 1947 at the Bellingham Lutheran Church. To this union two daughters were born ~ Judith and Barbara. After their marriage, Verla worked alongside Tommy at the Pioneer Meat Market, where he was employed. They purchased the meat market in 1961 and retired in 1989. Tommy passed away on October 28, 2002.

Verla was a lifetime member and very involved in the VFW Auxiliary, serving as the President, Vice President, and Treasurer. She was a member of the Congregational United Church of Christ since 1947.

Verla's hobbies included bowling, being outside and gardening, playing cards, watching TV, reading, painting dishtowels and embroidery work. She was able to play piano and organ, having never received formal lessons. She enjoyed crossword and word find puzzles. Of greatest importance to her was her family, especially her grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Verla moved to Northridge Residence in March of 2011 and it was there that she died on Thursday, December 29, 2011, having reached the age of 86.

Left to her loving memory are her daughters: Judith "Judie" (Ed) Schaffer of Ortonville and Barbara Nelson of Breckenridge, Minnesota; her five Grandchildren: Michelle (John) Johanson of Rushford, Minnesota, Gregory (Deb) Schaffer of Rosemount, Minnesota, Bryan (Tammi Firchau) Nelson of Breckenridge, Minneosta, Cullen (Michelle) Nelson of Wahpeton, North Dakota, and Sara (Andy) Blaufuss of Breckenridge, Minnesota; her 13 Great Grandchildren: Connor, Jacob, and Abigail Johanson; Brenden, Aiden, and Madelyn Schaffer; Kendra and Riley Nelson; Olivia and Codi Nelson; Landon, Erin, and Kendall Blaufuss; her sisters Marlys (Stanley) Adolphson and Laverne "Kitty" Magnuson, both of Ortonville; and her brother Robert (Val) Witte of Columbus, Ohio.

Verla is preceded in death by her parents; her husband; her brothers Raymond and Calvin; and her son-in-law, Perry Nelson.

Visitation

Larson Funeral Home
401 NW 2nd Street
Ortonville, MN 56278

Sunday, January 1, 2012
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Service

First English Lutheran Church

Ortonville, MN 56278

Monday, January 2, 2012
10:00 AM

Cemetery

Mound Cemetery

Ortonville, MN

Monday, January 2, 2012
11:00 AM

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