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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Stella A. Thomas

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Mrs. Stella A. Thomas, 100 of 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 on April 25, 1927. She married Herbert Thomas of Lena on April 30, 1927. They had one child, John Gerald Thomas born in June of 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 a 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 an over 50-year member of the Order of Eastern Star Knightsville Chapter No. 238.

Survivors include her nieces, Mary George and husband, Bill of Joliet, Ill.; Virginia Phillips of Greencastle; nephews, Maurice Johns of Ohio, Richard Clark of Harmony, and Joseph Rackhaus of 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, Mary Clark; and brothers, Benjamin and O.E. "Pete" Pell.

Graveside services will be held at 2 p.m. on Wednesday at the Calcutta Cemetery with Rev. Patrick Smith officiating, burial to follow.

Friends may call at the Hopkins-Rector Funeral Home from noon until 1 p.m. Wednesday.

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

Condolences for the family may be emailed to inhpr@keystonegroup.com