Irene Violet Thomas, 92, passed away Sunday, May 26, 2013 at her home in Medford, Ore. She was predeceased by her husband, Niles Thomas (2010). Irene is survived by her sons, Arthur Thomas, Springfield, Ore. and Darrell Thomas, Eugene, Ore.; sons and daughters-in-law, Robert and Jody Thomas, Atlanta, Ga. and Terry and Susan Thomas, Medford, Ore.; daughter and son-in-law, Linda and Jon Dahlberg, Kalispell, Montana; eight grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; and four great-great-grandchildren.
Irene was born in Ingomar, Mont. in 1921 and was the youngest of six sisters and one brother. Her German parents, John and Magdalena (Stroh) Waltz, emigrated to the U.S. from Neudorf, South Russia in 1911. Irene married Niles Thomas November 9, 1939 and settled in Hamilton, Mont. where their four eldest children were born. The family then moved to the Rogue Valley in 1952 where she and Niles lived the remainder of their lives. They settled in Ashland and also lived in the Griffen Creek area of Medford and Jacksonville, Ore.
As her children became more independent Irene completed business studies and embarked on a career with the JC Penney company in Medford until her retirement. She was known in her golden years for her hobby and business activities involving collecting and marketing antique furniture, clothing, and glass. She was part owner, along with four other like-minded ladies, of Pickety Place Antiques in Jacksonville. She volunteered for the Rogue Valley Historical Society, the American Cancer Society, Boy and Girl Scouts, and was a leader in her children's PTA organizations. Irene and Niles were involved with several social clubs with recreational interests in square dancing, archery, and antique cars. Antique car tours throughout the Northwest and numerous parades were regular events in her life.
Irene was an historical advisor and occasional "extra" in various regional movie productions featuring historic or old-time themes. She delighted in meeting and socializing with the actors.
A graveside service will be June 4, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. at Memory Gardens, 1395 Arnold Lane. Paul Hagedorn will be officiating. Memorial contributions can be made to ACCESS Food Share - Medford Chapter.
Arrangements by Memory Gardens Memorial Park & Mortuary - Medford, OR (541) 773-7338, www.memorygardensmortuary.com.