1932 - 2011
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DILLIE THOMAS Dillie Thomas, beloved and devoted wife of Ed and mother of Barbara and Melody, passed away on December 17, 2011.

Dillie Iris Thomas was born in Lincoln, NB in 1932, daughter of Gayl Elwood Giberson and Clara Louisa Giberson. Her early life was lived during the great depression of the 1930's. They traveled west and ended up in Mill Creek Canyon, in the San Gorgonio Mountains. Later, she attended college in Redlands to study Fine Art. She always shared her wonderful memories of her childhood with her children. She said growing up in Mill Creek was like a little bit of heaven. She also had many wonderful stories of her summers spent with her grandparents and cousins back on the farm in Nebraska.

Dillie married husband Ed in 1957, and lived in Wrightwood for all of their married life. Family life was full and wonderful. In their studio she had a place to create, while Ed worked beside her on his model aircraft. Many happy and fulfilling years were spent this way. Dillie was an energetic and devoted mother. As well as teaching her daughters different aspects of the arts, she got involved with the Girl Scouts and became a scout leader. She continued as leader throughout their childhood, teaching many of the classes in art, outdoor skills and camping. There were many summer vacations in the travel trailer filled with wonderful times and sweet memories. She gave the girls the benefit of her theatrical expertise in teaching them puppetry, puppet making and stage building which were so well done that the girls were asked to perform a show at the local elementary school. Mom also loved designing many award winning Halloween Costumes for the girls when they were young and in later years she taught them to sew many of their own clothes. She always encouraged their own creativity. Dillie became a Master Oil Painter. She began painting in 1960, taking lessons from Nancy Templeton in Wrightwood. While her girls were still small she practiced her craft. She was a founding member, then became president of the Tri Community Art Association.

In 1974, she was finally able to fulfill her dream of opening an art gallery. The Four Seasons gallery was opened as a co-op where other artists joined in and shared the gallery . Some of her Art Association friends who were involved included Lila Carter, Fran Ouimette, Nancy Nauer, Shirley Pinard, Norma and Fred Hayden, Jan Barton, Barbara Ahern, Lora Steinmann, and many others. After seven years it became a corporation, and Dillie ran it as a successful business for 24 years. Dillie and Ed traveled all over the Southwest and up the California Coast doing many art shows from 1977 to 2009. Dillie's paintings can be seen in art galleries across the country, and in her home studio. Dillie was a loving grandmother to her two grandchildren Aaron and Dillie Elizabeth, babysitting and hosting many birthday parties when the kids were small. Later, she taught them to draw and paint and loved going shopping with her granddaughter. In 2009, Dillie was diagnosed with a terminal illness and fought the battle for two and a half years. 2011 was a very good year for her as she got to go through her wish list and do everything on it.

She is survived by her husband Ed, daughters Melody Thomas and Barbara Marrujo and Son-in-Laws Peter Hunkins, Steve Marrujo and her grandchildren Aaron Marrujo, 25, Dillie Elizabeth Marrujo, 20, and Stepmother to Delores (Rose) Hagge and Christine Rice. Throughout her long life she touched many lives. Service will be held on Sunday, January 8, 2012 at 2 p.m. at the Wrightwood Community United Methodist Church, at 1543 Barbara street, Wrightwood, CA 92397. A reception will follow in the Social Hall at the Church.

Published in the Daily Press on December 24, 2011