Garnet Boyce Thomas, 91, of Sandyville, WV, passed away at her residence April 11, 2017. She was born May 7, 1925 on Maul Camp Road, Jackson County, WV, daughter of the late Charley and Mary “Etta” (Thompson) Boyce. She graduated from Gilmore High School in 1944 and began a teaching career immediately after high school since she had a good grade average and there was a shortage of teachers in Jackson County. Two years later, she attended Glenville State College majoring in elementary education but did not complete her degree because she left college and married Lionel Glen Thomas on March 31, 1948. She taught at the one-room schools of Beech Grove, Sunshine and McGraw in northern Jackson County and spent the majority of her teaching career at the Sandyville Grade School (later known as Gilmore Elementary). After a bachelor’s degree became a requirement for teaching, Garnet attended Morris Harvey College and completed her college degree in 1964. Garnet taught second grade for many years and especially loved teaching cursive writing and reading skills. She had a total of thirty-one years teaching experience before she retired in 1987.
Garnet was a member of the Beech Grove United Methodist Church and also attended the Drift Run United Methodist Church. She served as a Sunday school teacher, church treasurer and assisted with Vacation Bible Schools. She enjoyed raising a vegetable garden and flowers and liked to sew and crochet. After she retired from teaching, she began taking oil painting classes and completed several landscape paintings and some portrait paintings.
Survivors include: daughter, Carolyn (Rex) Miihlbach, of Ravenswood, WV, and son, Neil (Susan) Thomas, of Sandyville, WV; six grandchildren, Alex (Michala) Miihlbach of Taylor, Nebraska; Kevin (Alisha) Miihlbach of Ravenswood, WV; Malinda (Stephen) Cooper of Ravenswood, WV; Mitch (Tomeka) Thomas of Sandyville, WV; Steve (Amanda) Thomas of Sandyville, WV, and Anita (Derrick) Cooper of Sandyville, WV. Also surviving are 16 great-grandchildren and one brother, Charles Boyce, of Rockport, WV; and two sisters, Lillie Gates, of Rockport, WV; and Faye Hanson, of Coolville, OH.
Garnet was preceded in death by her husband, Lionel Glen Thomas, on March 1, 2017 and by granddaughter, Angela Dawn Thomas and great-granddaughter, Kaylee Garnet Miihlbach. In addition to her parents, she was also preceded in death by four brothers; Earl Boyce, Lawrence Boyce, Truman Boyce and Cecil Boyce; and two sisters, Opal Miihlbach and Gladys Boyce.
A special thank you to the personal care givers and members of the Kanawha Hospice team for their assistance and support. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Garnet’s memory can be made to the Beech Grove Church building fund or the Drift Run Church building fund. Funeral services will be held at the Waybright Funeral Home in Ripley, WV, Saturday, April 15, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. Visitation will be Friday evening, April 14, 2017, from 5-8 p.m. at the funeral home. Burial will be at the Independence Cemetery, Sandyville, WV.