Mrs. Mary Belle Thomas (nee Waterman) passed away peacefully at home in the early morning hours of Sunday, July 2, 2023.
Preceded in death by her husband, CWO-4 Robert F. Thomas (U.S. Army), sons John R. Thomas, James M. Thomas, and Stephen J. Thomas, she leaves behind her two remaining children: Susan C. Arnold of Colorado Springs, CO and Sandra J. Doss of El Paso, TX; three daughters-in-law: Catherine Thomas (John) of Tucson, AZ, Pamela R. Murphy (James) of Moore, TX, and Pamela E. Thomas (Stephen) of Crowley, TX; 9 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren; and nieces and nephews scattered across the U.S.
Born to Tracy J. and Ethel J. Waterman on July 18, 1926 in Binghamton, New York, she met Bob in high school and married him on June 14, 1947, beginning her career as a military wife. She followed her husband across two oceans, and to several military bases in the U.S., cheerfully packing up kids and possessions, ultimately landing in El Paso, where Bob was stationed at Ft. Bliss. While stationed on Okinawa, she volunteered with the Girl Scouts, organizing troops and day camps. She volunteered for forty years at the Officers Wives' Thrift Shop on Ft. Bliss, and was a member of the Ft. Bliss “Doll Ladies”, giving her time and skill dressing a myriad of dolls that were donated for distribution by Operation Santa Claus and Toys for Tots. Also an avid quilter in her later years, she created more than 100 quilts from baby size up to king size.
Graveside services will be at Ft. Bliss National Cemetery on Tuesday, July 18th at 10:00 a.m.
Special thanks to Tender Care Hospice of El Paso for their support and guidance while we helped Mom through her final journey.