Ocean City Today

Joan Wallis Thomas

Oct 12, 2017
Joan Wallis Thomas

printed 10/13/2017

Ocean City

Joan Wallis Thomas (beloved Meems...Duchess of Windsor to some), age 80, died Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, at Atlantic General Hospital in Berlin.

Born in Baltimore in 1937, she was the daughter of Charles Windsor and Doris Chester. The tale is told that she was named after the Duchess of Windsor (another famous royal Baltimorean).

She was preceded in death by her husband, Albert Barker Thomas, in 2011, and her son, Steven Lee Thomas, who died at 3 months of age in 1961 of SIDS.

She is survived by her sons, Michael A. Thomas and Jeffrey A. Thomas (Lisa); daughter, Barbara A. Thomas, her brothers; Butch Windsor (Paulette), Ron Windsor (Fran), David Windsor (Jane), sister; Margaret (Peggy) Boubaropolis; six grandchildren, Colleen, Norris (Chazz), Cory (Candler), Ashley, David, Jessica (Vince); two beloved great-grandchildren, Jake and Taylor, who she loved ferociously and loved to splash in puddles with and feed the birds; all of her nieces and nephews; many “adopted” and “extended” children and grandchildren; and countless many beloved friends.

She will be deeply, sorely missed by all.

Joan spent her middle years and raised her children in Laurel, Maryland, where she ran the office for the family construction companies (first T&G Construction and then ABT Contractors Inc.).

She was active in the Phantom 9 softball team, Laurel Rescue Squad Auxiliary, Eastern Star, Camel Wheels (Shriners), and was so loved at her children’s schools, she eventually started as a special needs and substitute teacher, following in her mothers’ footsteps, an endeavor that she continued at Showell Elementary School upon finally moving to Ocean City full time with Albert in the 1990s.

She continued substitute teaching until only recently and she loved, taught, and was loved deeply in return by the many children, teachers and parents that she attended to in her nurturing, loving manner all these many years.

Joan loved to travel to Portugal, Jamaica, to Europe with Jeff and Norris, cruises and the islands with Albert and Colleen. Joan was active in her book club, played Mah Jong with her friends, was active in her church (St. Mathews by the Sea, Fenwick Island), with Albert in the Paramedic Foundation (heck, she probably did most of the actual paperwork for Pops), the International Students Group (CETUSA), Caine Woods Community Association, the Citizens Police Academy, and many other great endeavors.

She (and Pops) were always there for their neighbors, aware of everything going on in the neighborhood and helpful to all. She was the one who would be there for not just any friend in need, but to anybody who she saw that she could help in most any way and she did so without question, pity, or recrimination. She was always just there with a word, a deed, or an embrace as needed.

As she recently struggled with health issues, which she hated. She was always helping others and didn’t want to be a “bother.

She was unceasingly attended to lovingly by her granddaughter, Norris, which only deepened their bond, friendship and love for each other.

With her passing, we have all lost the best mother, grandmother, sister, friend, touchstone and rock that we could have ever had. We grieve for her, yet we celebrate her life, legacy and her eternal love.

A memorial service and testimonial of her life will be held at 2 p.m. on Oct. 14, 2017 at St. Matthews by the Sea, 1000 Coastal Highway, Fenwick Island. Pastor (and friend) Bruce Miller will officiate.

Arrangements are in the care of Burbage Funeral Home in Berlin. Letters of condolence may be sent to the family at burbage@burbagefuneralhome.com

In lieu of flowers, should you wish, please contribute in Joan’s name to either Shriners Children’s Hospitals or the Showell Elementary School Family Fund at 11318 Showell School Road, Berlin, Maryland 21811, to continue her legacy.

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