Esther May Thomas Memorial Service

In Loving Memory
Esther May Thomas
September 9, 1919 — March 20, 2015

2 p.m. • February 18, 2015 • Newberg Friends Church

 E004 Esther May (EM#7-with W4A)

Esther May (Weesner) Thomas was born in Newberg, Oregon, to Oliver and H. Pearl Bundy Weesner. She attended Central Grade School and graduated from Newberg High School in 1936. In 1940 she graduated from Pacific College (now George Fox University), and in 1941 she graduated from Oregon College of Education. She taught at Harrisburg and Westport in Oregon for the next two years. She was an excellent pianist and used her talent to teach and to accompany music groups throughout her life.

Esther married William Thomas on June 16, 1943. Their early married life included several pastorates in the Northwest and a brief time as Friends missionaries in Guatemala. During this period, Harold and twins Jean and John were born. The family moved to Spokane in 1950 to help plant the Spokane Friends Church. While in Spokane Esther taught for a brief time at Northwest Christian School then dedicated herself to raising her growing family and to music and teaching ministries in the church. Their younger four children—Dorothy, twins Clyde and Clair, and Lois—were born from 1955 through 1959. Jodie and Stacey became part of the family when their mother died unexpectedly in 1964. In 1966 the family moved to Quincy, Washington, where Esther taught grade school for 15 years and worked at Quincy Friends Church.

After retirement in 1982, Bill and Esther visited the Holy Land. The year 1984 began a 20-year stint of overseas service in the Philippines, Haiti, Jamaica, Bolivia, Peru, and ended with 14 years in Guatemala, where Esther worked as a librarian and Bill on the construction of the Christian Academy of Guatemala campus. The last building, a gymnasium, was named Thomas Gymnasium in their honor. In their mid-80s they returned to Quincy and later to Newberg to live with family members.

Esther is survived by her children, Hal (Nancy), Jean Macy, John (Marilyn), Dorothy (Tom) Hinshaw, Clyde (Carol), Clair (Pat), Lois (Dave) Vanderveer, Jodie (Doug) Crockett, Stacey (Don) Shilling; 20 grandchildren, and 35 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, William; her parents; her sister, Margaret; and her brother and his wife, Harold and Marjorie Weesner.

Donations may be made to
The Sowers Fund
Northwest Yearly Meeting of Friends
200 N. Meridian St, Newberg, OR 97132


Brighten the Corner Where You Are

Do not wait until some deed of greatness you may do,
Do not wait to send your light afar,
To the many duties ever near you now be true,
Brighten the corner where you are.

Brighten the corner where you are!
Brighten the corner where you are!
Someone far from harbor you may guide across the bar,
Brighten the corner where you are.

Just above are clouded skies that you may help to clear,
Let not narrow self your way debar,
Tho’ into one heart alone may fall your song of cheer,
Brighten the corner where you are.

Here for all your talent you may surely find a need,
Here reflect the Bright and Morning Star,
Even from your humble hand the bread of life may feed,
Brighten the corner where you are.

Copyright 1913 by Charles H. Gabriel, Renewed 1941 by The Rodeheaver Company “CCLI # 184138”
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