Lela Catherine (Cathy) Thomas

Lela Catherine Thomas (Cathy), 84, of Lawrence, KS, passed away peacefully during the afternoon of February 27, 2017, at her home in Brandon Woods at Alvamar, with family at her bedside.

Cathy was born April 7, 1932, in Long Beach, California, the daughter of William Wesley Davis Bailey and Nellie Mae McLaughlin Bailey. She grew up on a small farm in Marshall, MO, among her siblings, Clifton D. Bailey, Joanna Grandbouche, Mary Ellen Brown, and her eldest brother, the late John W. Bailey. The stories of their adventurous childhood were always entertaining.

Cathy graduated from Marshall High School in Missouri. She later married William Gerald Hunt and was blessed with two daughters, Patricia Meadors, and Pamela Neugebauer.

Cathy spent more than 30 years in Kansas City before relocating to Lawrence 32 years ago.

She worked as a telephone operator for Southwestern Bell for 22 years and later worked for the Pelathe Community Resource Center before retiring.

Cathy was a caring and loving mother. She was very proud of her family and was even more thrilled to be a grandmother to her 5 grandchildren, Melanie Hunt-Miller, Rudolph C. Neugebauer III, Dejon Brown, Natalie Stewart, and George L. Meadors II. She was also blessed with 5 great-grandchildren, Trey and Noah Miller, Emma, Keira, and Declan Stewart. She was grateful to have two loving son-in-laws, Rudy C. Neugebauer II, and the late George L. Meadors. She also had many close, and very loving nieces and nephews. A true matriarch.

Cathy made many dear friends throughout her long and eventful journey. She loved the holidays, birthdays, and family get-togethers; any chance to spend time with her family was important to her. She loved to celebrate life and have fun. She helped make so many good memories for those who had the joy of knowing her. A good friend, Larry, recently said “she always had a smile for me.”

Cathy was known for her feisty, yet good sense of humor. With that twinkle in her eye, she wasn’t afraid to speak her mind. Still, she always had a warm place in her heart for everyone. She will be missed by all that knew and loved her.

Family and friends will gather at Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home for a memorial service, 601 Indiana Street, Lawrence, KS 66044, on Saturday, March 18, 2017 at 2:00 p.m.