JOPLIN, Mo. —
Virginia Faye Thomas, age 73, Joplin, passed away on Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013, at her home with family at her side.
Virginia was born Nov. 6, 1939 in Ozark, Ark., daughter of the late Thomas C. Carter and Jessie Green Carter. The family moved to Independence, Kan., while Virginia was a child and she completed her schooling at Independence High School and Independence Community College earning an associates degree. She then earned a bachelor's degree in education from Pittsburg State University. She moved to Joplin and worked for the R-8 School District for over 25 years, retiring in 1997. She taught first grade and sixth grade at Washington Elementary, before transferring to South Middle School where she taught sixth grade until her retirement.
Virginia was an active member of the National Education Association, a member of the Missouri Retired Teacher's Organization and a sponsor for the George Washington Carver Essay Contest. She retired from Joplin R-8 schools, but not from teaching. She served as the director of the Carver Nursery School. Her grandchildren will tell you that she taught them all the books of the Bible and many verses and passages. She always loved taking care of children and was also a foster parent for many years.
Virginia was a dedicated and faithful member of Unity Baptist Church. She taught Sunday school, was a Deaconess, was leader of the youth program for many years and served on countless committees.
She married Wayne Marion; to that union three children were born, Michelle Stewart, of Joplin, Lisa Marion-Hayward and husband, Edward, of Miami, Fla., and Ray Marion, of New Orleans, La. They later divorced. She married Francis Thomas Oct. 13, 1984, who preceded her in death on Sept. 27, 2010. They adopted Makisha, James and Zaveon Thomas, Joplin. More surviving children include Briant Thomas, Joplin, Jeffrey Thomas, Topeka, Kan., Linda Thomas Terry and husband, Cecil, Glenda Thomas Whitaker, all of Kansas City, Mo., Cheryl Thomas Fowler and husband, Victor, Douglas Thomas and Alexandra Carter, all of Joplin; and great-nieces that she loved as her children, Hannah Jackson, Cindy Carter, Teresa Carter and Marcella Kendrix; sisters, Helen Reeves and husband, Graham and Mildred Harris and husband, Carl, all of Independence; sister and lifelong friend, Ida Mae Miles, of Richmond, Calif.; God-sister, Opal Williams, Independence; 24 grandchildren and several great-grandchildren; and many foster children. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by seven brothers and seven sisters.
Funeral services will be Saturday, Oct. 19, at 10 a.m. at Joplin Family Worship Center with Pastor Rufus L. Kelly officiating. Interment will follow at 1:30 p.m. in Mount Hope Cemetery, Independence, with family serving as pallbearers. The family will receive friends at Parker Mortuary on Thursday from 6 to 7 p.m.
The family request that memorial contributions be made to the Unity Baptist Church or the American Cancer Society.
Online condolences may be made at www.parkermortuary.com