Mary Kotsanos Thomas

August 27th, 1914October 19th, 2019

     Mary Kotsanos Thomas passed away peacefully on October 19 at the age of 105.  She was born in Lima, Ohio, on August 27, 1914, the daughter of Greek immigrants.  She grew up in Ohio where she attended school and excelled academically.  She loved sports and was on the field hockey team and fencing team and was a diver and lifeguard.  She graduated from Mansfield (Ohio) High School in 1932.

     Mary met her future husband, Robert, at their workplace in Springfield, Ohio.  Mary and Bob married on December 14, 1945.  They had four children, all born in Ohio. The family moved to Umatilla, Florida, in 1959. They became active and well-respected members of their community.

     Mary started college at age 49.  She graduated magna cum laude from Stetson University in Deland, Florida, and earned her Master's degree in special education from Florida State University.  Mary taught deaf children for 18 years, and in 1980 won the distinction of Teacher of the Year at her school in Orlando.

     After retiring at age 72, Mary stayed very active.  She and Bob played golf well into their 90s and also continued to exercise at the gym several times a week.  Mary hand-stitched over a dozen full-size quilts and numerous smaller pieces.  Mary enjoyed playing bridge, painting with watercolors and oils, playing the piano, dancing, and gardening.  Mary had a life-long desire to learn and took classes in her many diverse interests.  She was an avid reader.  She was also a volunteer tutor for several years and a community volunteer.  Mary was an active member of her Sunday School class and attended services at the First Baptist Church of Umatilla for 55 years before moving to Colorado in 2013.

     Mary was a vibrant person who lived her life with love and grace and was an inspiration to all who knew her. She is cherished by her family and many friends.

     Mary was preceded in death by her husband, Robert, and by one sister and five brothers.  She is survived by her daughters, Robin (Darold), Katina, Francine (Jim); son, Charles; grandchildren, Nick and Maria; and nieces and nephews, as well as a host of other family and friends who all love and will miss her dearly.

 

 

Services

A celebration of Mary's life will be held at 11:00 am, Saturday, November 2 at the New Church of Boulder Valley, 1370 Forest Park Circle, Lafayette, Colorado 80026.

Cemetery

None

Location

None

Church

The New Church of Boulder Valley | Map

Condolences

Mary attended an exercise class I was in until the age of 104. She loved to learn new movements and tried her best to keep up, which she did in her own way. She was a sweetheart and we all missed her when she wasn’t there. We will continue to miss her. I send loving condolences to all her family. What a wonderful mother, grandmother, aunt. She will be remembered as a special lady. Nancy Smith
Mary Thomas was always "Mrs. Thomas" to me. Mrs. Thomas' daughter Robin and I were thrown together by chance, to be dormitory roommates as freshmen in college. Since my own Mom was nearly 10,000 miles away, Mrs. Thomas did substitute Mom duty in with compassion and citrus-filled Care packages delivered to the Gainesville, FL Greyhound station. My first Thanksgiving away from home was spent under Mrs. Thomas' roof, and I can still remember watching her stretch filo dough on the kitchen table while the Macy's parade played in the next room. On that day Katina, Francine, Charles and Mr. Thomas showed me their beautiful "Old Florida", a vanishing place. Years later I had become an architect practicing in Orlando, no longer in touch with Mrs. Thomas. To our mutual astonishment, she and I were re-introduced to each other with the assignment to design "our" new project together, a library and diagnostics center for hearing impaired students. We had a good laugh at the coincidence, and went on to produce a wonderful project together. I'll miss Robin's updates on Mrs. Thomas' incredible energy, outlook, and sheer endurance. She is one of the inspirational, unforgettable characters in my life. With love to all her children, Leslie Divoll
Mary was was a very special person. What I remember most is that whenever she came to see me she always complimented me on what a nice home I had made. It meant the world to me through some pretty rough times. I will truly miss her beautiful smile and can do attitude. I know I am a better person and will age with much more grace because of her shining example. Gods speed Mary, you made our world a better place!
Mary was a lovely woman so amazing and sweet. I am glad to have known her. Her daughters would bring her to see me for footcare and I always looked forward to seeing her. Her family took such good care of her, she will be missed. All my best to the family
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