Susan Roberta Thomas was born January 17, 1945 in Racine, Wisconsin to Dorothy Mae Sanders and Carl Robert Harmel. Growing up, she was a passionate barrel racer and advocate for animals, often adopting and bathing stray pets. She graduated Troy High School in 1963 where she was voted Prom Queen by her classmates.
She became pen pals with a young Marine, Carl H. Thomas, Jr., for six months while he served in the Vietnam Conflict. They finally met in August 1967, and, after two dates, married on August 17th prior to Carl’s reassignment to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
She campaigned fervently with her husband during his 1976 election for Sheriff of Dallas County, Texas, often pulling their young children door to door in a red wagon. She instantly became a model wife to a young Sheriff, yet always remained humble and true to herself.
Susan was a faithful mother and wife who enjoyed spending time horseback riding and going on long walks, camping, and picnics with her family. One of her favorite past-times was Christmas Caroling on Christmas Eve with friends and family while living in DeSoto, Texas. She absolutely loved country living as well as raising dogs, cats, cattle, and ducks, as well as anything else that called their place home and often named each and every animal on the ranch.
A devout Catholic, Susan had a servant’s heart and instilled in her children it was always better to give than to receive. Shortly after moving to Kemp, Texas in 1987, she volunteered much of her time singing in the choir at St. Ann’s Church.
She spent the last ten years of her life bedridden due to a serious medical illness with the last two on Hospice. Although limited with mobility, she enjoyed weekly visits and cookouts with her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
She is preceded in death by her parents, Carl and Dorothy Harmel and her son, Carl H. “Skip” Thomas, III. She is survived by her husband, Carl H. Thomas, Jr. and daughters Wendy Sue Thomas of Heath, Texas, and Shari Lynn Welch-Hildebrandt of Kaufman; grandchildren Gary Lynn Welch, Michael Lee Welch, Ashley Loren Rhoades, Joshua Thomas Rhoades, and Lindsay Dawn Thomas; great-grandchildren Jonathan Lee Welch and Savannah Lee Welch. She is also survived by her younger sister, Mary Sanders Kline of Arizona, as well as numerous nieces and nephews and their children and great-grandchildren.