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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Stella A. Thomas

Monday, May 5, 2008

Stella A. Thomas, 100, Greencastle, passed away Sunday morning at Asbury Towers.

Born Jan. 28, 1908, in Clay County, in the Pell home just east of Harmony, she was the seventh of eight children born to Oscar E. and Mary Elizabeth (Early) Pell.

She grew up in the large brick home built by her grandfather (from materials made and cut from the farm), fondly referred to as "Pell Hill."

As a child, Stella attended school in Harmony, remembering the children carrying in the drinking water, and wood and coal to heat the potbellied stoves. She enjoyed the many activities the children engaged in during their walks to and from school. Having a special memory of winter sledding down the hill above the creek and if having ended up in the creek, drying out by the classroom stove.

Stella graduated from Van Buren High School April 25, 1927. She married Herbert Thomas of Lena on April 30, 19227. They had one child, John Gerald Thomas, born in June 1928. In celebration of Stella and Herbert's 50th wedding anniversary, their son, Jerry, took them on a tour of Europe. Stella shared many fond memories of the trip.

Stella has spent several years as a resident of Greencastle. While raising her family, she worked at DePauw University and as a seamstress at the Angwell Curtain Factory. She was an accomplished artist dating back to her high school days, trained in oil and china painting. The walls of her residence at Asbury were adorned with several of her paintings. The last years that Stella resided in her own home, she was known as the neighborhood grandmother, baking cookies for all the neighborhood children.

She was a member of the Hanna Street Baptist Church and a more than 50-year member of the Order of Eastern Star Knightsville Chapter No. 238.

Survivors include her nieces Mary George and husband Bill, Joliet, Ill., Virginia Phillips, Greencastle, nephews Maurice Johns, Ohio, Richard Clark, Harmony, Joseph Rackhaus, St. Louis and close friends John, Jane, Mannah A. and J. Asher Mace of Brazil.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, son, sisters Cynthia Payne, Della Rackhaus Wilson, Bertha Johns, and Mary Clark and brothers Benjamin and O.E. "Pete" Pell.

Services will take place at 2 p.m., Wednesday, at the Calcutta Cemetery with Rev. Patrick Smith officiating, with burial to follow.

Visitation will be at the Hopkins-Rector Funeral Home, 703 E. Washington St., Greencastle, from noon-1 p.m., Wednesday.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Hanna Street Baptist Church, 501 E. Hanna St., Greencastle, 46135.

Condolences for the family may be e-mailed to inhpr@keystonegroup.com.