Maurice Eugene (Reece) Thomas

Maurice Eugene Thomas, a navy veteran and lifelong resident of Kansas, died accidentally on Sunday July 5th at the age of 54.

Maurice leaves to cherish his memory: daughters Tashawna Thomas, 34, and Shakerah Thomas, 29, granddaughter Carliyah Evans, 14, brother Lester Thomas, sister Tamasha Foster, 1st Ex-wife Kelly Thomas, mother of his daughter Tashawna, Shirley Thomas, mother of his daughter Shakerah, 2nd ex-wife and love of his life and soul-mate Phyllis Wilson-Thomas as well as a host of nieces, nephews as well as his dog, Lady Lily. Maurice is preceded in death by his parents Joyce A. Foster and Charles Allen both of Kansas City, KS, his step-father Leonard Foster as well as his aunts and uncles on his mother’s side.

He was born in Kansas City, KS at Bethany Medical Center Hospital on December 13, 1965 to Joyce A. Foster and Charles Allen. He graduated from F.L. Schlagle high school class of 1984. The following year Maurice enlisted in the US Navy July 25, 1985 serving active duty until February 17, 1993; he was honorably discharged then served 4 more years in the US Navy Reserves. During his time he earned a Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (1 Star).

Maurice was an avid angular who loved catching catfish in particular which he called the “Big Daddies”. Maurice was also a sports fanatic; following the KU Jayhawks, KC Chiefs, KC Royals, and Sacramento Kings. He claimed there was “no bigger fan in the land” and that he bled “red and blue”, “Hello Dice, you better ask somebody, rolling 7 and 11”. He confessed his belief in Christ at a young age and was baptized at Pleasant Green Baptist Church in KCK. At the time of his passing, he was a member of Ninth Street Missionary Baptist Church here in Lawrence, KS. His favorite book of the bible was Matthew, in particular The Lord’s Prayer; he cared for his brothers and sisters in Christ and so always prayed for them. Maurice’s smile, laughter, humor and his love for life, family and sports will be greatly missed. We thank him for his service to this country and his love for God and his creations.

A viewing will be held at Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home 601 Indiana Street Lawrence. KS on Saturday July 18th, 2020 from 3:30pm-5pm. Interment at Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery TBD.

Memorial contributions may be made to Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home, P.O. Box 1260, Lawrence, Kansas 66044.

Albert (Wayne) Thomas

A. Wayne Thomas, 90 was born December 27, 1929 in his family home in Emporia, KS to Blanche and Albert H. Thomas, and passed away on May 23, 2020 in his daughter Pat Bittel’s home in Lawrence, KS.

Wayne graduated from Emporia High School in 1948, then joined the U.S. Navy to serve his country. He was stationed aboard the aircraft carrier USS Midway from 1948 through 1952.

Upon his return to Emporia, he met and married Carole Ann Turney in Emporia. They were wed for nearly 50 years until her death in 2003.

Wayne graduated from Clark’s Business College in Topeka, KS in 1954. He was the Purchasing Agent and Personnel Manager at American Yearbook Co., the Purchasing Manager and Production Manager at Seymour Foods in Topeka, & Vice President of Food Pak, Inc. in Tulsa, OK, and, retirement sold real estate at the Lake of the Ozarks for several years.

In 2004, Wayne married Betty Richardson in Emporia. She passed away in 2011.

Wayne was a 67-year member of the Masonic Lodge.

Wayne was preceded in death by his parents, a brother Jarrett Thomas and a sister, Barbara Allbee. He is survived by his son and daughter-in-law, Ken and Lisa Thomas, Sarasota, FL, daughter and son-in-law, Pat and Rod Bittel, Lawrence, KS, and grandchildren, Zach Thomas, Pompano Beach, FL, Ben Thomas, North Platte, NB, and Scott Thomas, North Port, FL, Alex Bittel, Lawrence, KS, Jessica Bittel-Zweygardt, Topeka, KS, Kaitlin Bittel, Lawrence, KS, Daniel Bittel, Yosemite National Park, CA, step-grandson, Sam Bittel, Leawood, KS, a great grand-daughter, Naomi Bittel, Lawrence, KS, and several nieces & nephews.

Graveside services are tentatively planned for October 10, 2020 in Emporia, KS.

The family wishes to share their love and gratitude to the staff at Monterey Village, Lawrence, KS for being Wayne’s loving and caring family for his last several years. Much gratitude and appreciation are also given to Nancy and Lana from Douglas Co. Visiting Nurses Assoc. for their skill and compassion to Wayne and his family, allowing him to enjoy his final days with his family.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Monterey Village activity fund, 3901 Peterson Rd Lawrence, KS 66049, or to Douglas Co. Visiting Nurses Assoc., 200 Main St. Suite C Lawrence, KS 66044.

Viola Ray Thomas

Memorial services for Viola Ray Thomas, 77, Winchester, will be 11 am, Saturday, November 18, 2017, at Living Water Church, 13960 Highway K92, Oskaloosa, KS 66066.

She was the Daughter of Mabel Marie Clark and Grady Jesse Beard , born on the day of July 3rd 1940, she was blessed with a family of three sisters, and two brothers, Kathleen Pearl Kennett , Mattie Lea Kelly, Grady Clifton , Juanita Jeanette Boles, Thomas Leonard, all have passed.  She has a daughter Debra Kay McClelland, a son Todd Allen Thomas, and three step children Nancy O’Herron, Dave Thomas, and John Thomas.  She was married to Loyd Burroughs, for a short period. Then remarried to Alvin Clifford Thomas, he preceded her in death May 1998. She was blessed with many Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren.

She was a great wife, mother, and friend to those that new her.  She worked hard in many jobs over the years that she was proud of.  She was a guard at Hercules army plant in Desoto, a line operator at Hallmarks Cards, ran a line at Aeroquip making pistons for large trucks, an Auto Mechanic and in the AC refrigeration department at KU.  She was strong and determined to make it in a world that was hard for women at the time, she was the first woman hired at KU in the refrigeration department and it made her proud.  She survived breast Cancer, a heart attack, a stroke that took her mobility. Last she died of overran Cancer after a battle of about a year and a half.  She found Jesus early in life and recently renewed her faith. Now she is in heaven with all of her loved ones that died previously.

The family suggests memorial contributions made in memory of Viola Ray Thomas to be made to Great Lakes Hospice, sent in care of Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home, 601 Indiana Street, Lawrence, KS 66044, or made online at

Georgia Lee Thomas

Funeral services for Georgia Lee (Bailey) Thomas, 84, Lawrence, will be 11 am, Thursday, June 15, 2017, at Vinland United Methodist Church, Baldwin City, KS. Visitation from 6 to 7pm Wednesday at Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home.

Georgia died peacefully in her sleep on June 9, 2017, at her home with family.  She was born on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 1933, in Ft. Scott (Bourbon County), KS, the daughter of Kenneth Bailey and Pauline.  On March 11, 1951, she married Keith LeRoy Thomas. They shared almost 66 years together when Keith passed at the beginning of this year. Shortly after getting married, she graduated from Fort Scott High School in 1951. Georgia became a Pastors Wife not long after graduating; she and her husband ministered to three Churches. When her husband joined the army she started working at a laundry and dry cleaners, wherever he was stationed. She did like to travel, and took the family to Pike’s Peak, the Grand Canyon, and Disney World in California, just to name a few. In 1957-58, Georgia and Keith settled in Lawrence, KS where she took a job at Scotch Cleaners. Georgia still worked at Scotch when she retired approximately 10 yrs ago. She loved all of God’s creatures in general, but held a special fondness for birds, especially Hummingbirds, dogs, cats, chickens, and Butterflies. Georgia’s hobbies included baking, feeding the birds, working in her flower beds and vegetable garden. She had the cleanest house this side of the Mississippi. She always had a kind word for everyone. Never met a bowl of ice cream she couldn’t conquer. She loved cookies, but Double Stuffed Oreos were her favorite. She would eat Italian and Mexican food every day if she could. Last of all, Georgia was always ready for a Strawberry Cheesecake Shake from Sonic. Georgia, you will be greatly missed.

Georgia was preceded in death by her parents Kenneth and Pauline Bailey, brothers Earl, Howard, Glenn, Wes, and Lloyd Bailey. Her sisters Lena (Bailey) Brillhart and Mildred (Bailey) Puckett. A granddaughter Heather Burke and great-granddaughter Gabriella Thomas.

Survivors include her son Dwayne K. (Elisa) Thomas of Lawrence, KS, daughter Debra L. (Bruce) Harrison of Louisville, MS, 7 Grandchildren, Daniel D. (Kristine) Thomas, Lawrence, David A. (Leah) Thomas, Lawrence, Michael S. (Jackie) Thomas, Lawrence, Cary L. Smith, Lawrence, Seth A. Thomas, Kansas City, MO, Jennifer and Heather Burke, Salina, KS. Georgia also had 12 Great Grandchildren.

Cards and letters can be sent to the family at 660 E. 1450 Rd., Lawrence, KS 66046

The family suggests memorials to the church and/or Visiting Nurses Association Hospice sent in care of Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home, 601 Indiana St. Lawrence, KS 66044.

Online condolences at

Arthur H. Thomas

Arthur H. Thomas was born in Minneapolis, MN, on April 24, 1929 and passed away on April 4, 2017 in Lawrence, KS. He was the son of Clyde S. and Louise L. Thomas. Art grew up in Sauk Centre, MN where his family lived in the former home of Sinclair Lewis. While growing up, Art spent idyllic summers at Camp Warren, a YMCA boys’ camp in Eveleth, MN, eventually working as a camp counselor and waterfront director during his college years. He graduated from Carleton College and earned an MA in school counseling at the University of Minnesota. During that time, he met his future wife, the former Barbara J. Butters, on a blind date. They were married on June 15, 1955, in Minneapolis, MN. After a decade of high school teaching and counseling, Art, Barb, and their three young sons moved to East Lansing, MI where Art earned a PhD in counseling in 1967.

Following graduation, Art joined the University of Kansas School of Education Department of Counseling faculty in 1968. His dissertation research was regarded as groundbreaking in the field of school counseling. It demonstrated inherent gender bias among high school counselors when advising students about potential career choices. At a time when young women were advocating for equal rights and better career opportunities, Art’s work influenced the quality of school guidance they received. His scholarship received several professional awards. During the late 1970s and early1980s, Art worked in collaboration with KU colleagues and Ft Leavenworth leaders to develop and implement advanced officer training in the areas of communication, problem solving, and team building skills. By far, the professional achievements Art treasured most were the hundreds of school counselors and counselor educators he helped prepare through the Department and the countless KU students he counseled and mentored through his work at the KU Counseling Center. He retired from KU in 1994.

In retirement Art enjoyed travel, entertaining, theater, puzzles, summer time at Ten Mile Lake in northern MN, and opera. He was an avid bridge player and a master knitter. He was a dedicated Lawrence Visitors Center volunteer, Lawrence Community Theater supporter, and an enthusiastic member of the University Bridge Club. Art will be remembered as a caring and gentle man who was devoted to his family and loved them unconditionally. His three sons are grateful for the friendship, life lessons, and support he provided. He encouraged all to pursue their dreams—even when they were not necessarily the ones that Art might have chosen. He instilled a strong sense of personal responsibility in his them for their actions; he was always there to provide encouragement, wise counsel, and good problem solving skills–especially when things didn’t go as well as planned. Most importantly, Art taught them the importance of talking through problems, listening to others, and working toward common goals with others to ensure good outcomes for all. He also taught his sons and grandchildren to appreciate long-term friendships, fine wool sweaters, good shoes, weather forecasts, Dove ice cream bars, white cars, and impromptu naps.

Art is survived by Barbara, his wife of 61 years, three sons and their wives: Scott and Chriss Walther-Thomas of Richmond, VA, Kirk and Barbara Thomas of Kansas City, and Ross and Heather Thomas of Topeka; six grandchildren and their spouses: Lyndsey Fjellstedt (Anders), Emily Guffey (Nick), Drew Scott (Ryan), Alan Thomas, Jennifer Thomas (Harry Althoff), and Molly Thomas; and two great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister and brother-in-law, Margaret and Jeff Human, Bethesda, MD; and his sister-in-law, Ruth Ferris, Northbrook, IL; as well as five nieces and their families.

There will be a visitation Friday afternoon at Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home from 5:00-6:30 pm, and a coffee and cookie hour on Saturday afternoon at Presbyterian Manor from 2:30-3:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, Art’s family encourages friends to honor his memory by volunteering in the community, appreciating good service and thanking people for their help, sending kids to camp, and listening to opera. Memorials may be made to YMCA Camp Warren in Eveleth, MN, the Lawrence Community Theater, or a charity of your choice. Online Condolences may be sent at

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.