Global Ministries is saddened to learn of the death of Marjorie Thomas
Marjorie Marie Bodine Thomas
September 5, 1921 – May 5, 2017
Marjorie Marie Bodine Thomas, the only child of Earl Bodine and Edna Bateman, was born September 5, 1921, in Humansville, Missouri, a small town in the Ozark foothills where she remembered a wonderful childhood. Piano study began at the age of five which followed her throughout her entire life. From her high school senior class of sixteen, she entered Drury College in nearby Springfield as a music major and minored in mathematics. There she met her husband, Robert (Bob) Thomas. They were married in the Drury College Chapel on September 7, 1941, and moved to Chicago where Bob attended the Divinity School of the University of Chicago and the Disciples Divinity House. Her son John and daughter Judy were born.
The Thomas family then moved to St. Joseph Missouri in 1949, where Bob became the minister of First Christian Church. Her daughter Karen was born and Marjorie became busy with Eagle Scouts, ballet, musical lessons, ice skating, playing piano in the Fortnightly Musical Club, leading a drama group, excelling at sewing/knitting/cooking, and leading many church activities.
They moved to Seattle, Washington in 1961 where Bob became the minister of University Christian Church. Marjorie sang in the choir, designed/made costumes for the Christmas pageants, opened a craft studio in the church, and hosted visitors to the Seattle World’s Fair. She attended the University of Washington, updating her teaching certificate and taught in local grade schools. Both her daughter Judy and son married, and Marjorie’s mother came to live with the family in 1967.
In 1973, Robert Thomas became President of the Division of Overseas Ministries, which today forms part of Global Ministries, on behalf of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Indianapolis. Thanks to this, Marjorie met Nelson Mandela and Bishop Desmond Tutu from South Africa, and hosted dinners for visitors all over the world. Her daughter Karen was married, and Marjorie continued her career as a math teacher and acquired a Master of Science degree from Butler University at the age of 50.
A retirement move back to Seattle in 1983 offered Marjorie more time for her stained glass to become a focus. Her art resides in church windows, the Vatican museum, and in homes across the country. In 1992, a move to a retirement home in Indianapolis offered space where Marjorie set up her stained glass shop and continued to create works of beauty. Her son died in August of 1996, and her husband died just a few months later. Marjorie and Bob were married for 55 wonderful years.
Marjorie returned to Seattle to be with family and lived independently for five years. She continued her glass work, music, volunteered in Seattle Public Schools, and did private math tutoring. In 2002, as she described it, “a miracle happened” and she met her second love, Lynn Huff, with whom she spent the last 15 years of her life. She played her baby grand piano daily, did glass work in her own studio in their apartment, and Lynn took her on cruises to Alaska, through the Panama Canal, and the Caribbean.
Her life was full of symphonies, plays, travel, card playing and enjoying family.
Marjorie fell in July of 2016, at the age of 94, and thus began a series of hospital and skilled nursing stays. She worked hard, and accomplished her #1 goal to return to their apartment to be with Lynn. She passed away May 5, 2017, peacefully at home. Marjorie is survived by her daughter Judy Christianson (Wes), daughter Karen Foley (Michael), daughter-in-law Kathy Thomas, four grandchildren, 11 great grandchildren and her devoted, loving partner, Lynn.
A memorial service will be held on June 24, 2017, at 1:00 p.m. at University Christian Church, 4731 15th Avenue NE Seattle, WA. A reception will follow.
In lieu of flowers, gifts of remembrance may be sent to The Disciples Divinity House Scholarship Fund at 1156 East 57th St., Chicago, Illinois 60631.
Condolences to the family may be sent to Judy Christianson, 3235 NW 59th Street, Seattle, WA 98107.