Betty Irene Thomas, age 90 years of Niles, Michigan died peacefully on Wednesday, January 23, 2019 at her home in Bald Knob, Arkansas following an extended illness.
She was born on October 22, 1928 in Guy, Arkansas to D. O. and Frankie (Gentry) Butler. She attended Judsonia (Arkansas) High School, and moved with her family to Niles where she has lived most of her life. She was employed for more than twenty years at the former Niles plant of Simplicity Pattern Company. In retirement, she and her husband returned to Arkansas and founded the J&B Janitorial Services. More recently she has been sharing her time between Niles and Bald Knob.
Betty enjoyed fishing, cooking special orders for her family, and more recently has learned how to navigate the internet on her tablet where she played games and collected recipes. Betty’s priority was always caring for her family. During difficult times, she provided a home and parenting for her grandchildren, and she loved her great-grandchildren and their children.
In 1953 in Eau Claire, Michigan she married Joe M. Thomas with whom she celebrated the forty-seventh anniversary of their wedding prior to his death on July 2, 2000. She was also preceded in death by her only child, JoAnn Laws Thomas, and by her only grandson, Craig A. Laws, Jr.
Surviving family includes her granddaughters, Jody (& Mike) Purdy of Niles, Heather Laws and Amanda Laws, both of Bald Knob, and Shondi Laws of Mishawaka, Indiana; great-grandchildren Casey (& Joe) Simmons, Michael Purdy, Hailey Manier, Kylie Northrop, Henna Northrop, Aubreana Laws, Havanna Laws, Katie Balint, and Addilin Balint; great-great-grandchildren, Aria, Harper, and Michael; Betty’s sister, Mary Moore of Arkansas, and many nieces and nephews.
The family of Betty Thomas will receive relatives and friends from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. on Friday, February 1, 2019 at the Halbritter-Wickens Funeral Home, 615 East Main Street in Niles. Committal will be private, on Monday in the Caldwell Cemetery in Eau Claire, Michigan.