Evelyn Joan (Staats) Thomas, 94, died Thursday, June 20, 2019, at Doverwood Village in Hamilton, OH, comforted by the gentle love of her family, church, friends, and her love of the Lord. Evelyn made a house a home wherever she lived and by count, that included over thirty-nine locations throughout the United States.
She was born on June 9, 1925, in Charleston, WV, the daughter of Cecil L. Staats and Susie Peers Staats of Charleston and Ripley, West Virginia. She married Benjamin N. Thomas on Dec. 21, 1946 and had been married just short of 50 years before his death on November 27, 1996.
She graduated from Ripley High School in 1943 and began her college studies at West Virginia University. After her sophomore year, she transferred to the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, became a registered Medical Laboratory Technologist and worked in numerous hospitals and labs around the country until she retired. At the age of 90 in 2014, Evelyn earned a University College Regents Bachelor of Arts Degree from West Virginia University after getting credit for work experience to satisfy degree requirements.
She is most remembered and celebrated as a woman of faith. She drew strength from her daily reading of the Bible and from ongoing fellowship with her church family. As a Sunday school teacher, Vacation Bible School leader, volunteer Community Outreach Coordinator with Northview Baptist Church in Hillsboro, she never missed an opportunity to invite others to know the Lord.
In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by her brother Edwin, and sisters Mary Staats Ray and Onalee Staats Rader. Her life continues to be remembered, cherished, and celebrated by her two sons, Steve (Lisa) Thomas of Hamilton, Ohio, and Mike (Linda) Thomas of Scottsdale, Arizona; two daughters, Debbie (Butch) Martin of Richmond, Virginia, and Lee Ann (Steve Heintz) Thomas of Plattsburgh, New York. She also loved her ten grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
Funeral services will be 12:00 pm Monday, July 1, 2019 at Waybright Funeral Home in Ripley, West Virginia. Visitation is one hour prior to the service (11AM-12PM) on Monday July 1, 2019 at the funeral home. Burial will follow at the Fairplain Cemetery near Ripley. Pastor Jeff Griffin, of Eubank, KY will be officiating the funeral and graveside service. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in the name of Evelyn Thomas to Hospice of Southwest Ohio, 7625 Camargo Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45243 or www.hswo.org.