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Eleanor M. Thomas

November 30, 2023

Eleanor M. Thomas Obituary

Eleanor M. Thomas, wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, educator, instructional program developer, and teacher of the year.

Mrs. Eleanor M. Thomas (Polly) was born on February 1, 1931, in Panama, the second of seven children born from the union of the late Reverend Fabian H. Walters and Elna J. Walters.

On migrating to the United States, Mrs. Thomas attended New York University and worked as an editorial secretary at the New York University Press. Later, Mrs. Thomas earned her Bachelor of Science Degree and her Master of Science Degree in education from the City University of New York, as well as postgraduate credits from the New York University, Columbia's Teacher's College, the New School of Social Research, and the Bank Street College of New York.

For 30 years, Mrs. Thomas was employed with the New York City Board of Education. During her tenure, she advanced from a teacher in the elementary grades, which included bilingual and intellectually gifted students, to become a teacher trainer, a reading specialist, and eventually an instructional program developer and mentor, a post she held until her retirement in 1991. Mrs. Thomas is remembered fondly by many of her former staff members and students, who appreciated her guidance and support in their careers. Throughout her career, she received numerous awards, and in 1983, she was the proud recipient of the Teacher of the Year Award.

Mrs. Thomas married the late William L. Thomas in 1955. For 41 years they worked as a team in their professional and personal lives and contributed to the cultural life of NYC. They were members of several museums in New York City, New Jersey, and Detroit, Michigan, and traveled extensively to enhance their educational horizons with their two children, Josceleyn and Ashton. Music also played an integral part in their lives. Mrs. Thomas had a generous spirit and a loving heart, and with a quick smile, she radiated joy wherever she went. She was indeed an inspiration to all who met her.

Mrs. Thomas was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Orange, N.J., and served as a church volunteer for the MEN’S Pantry, which met the community's needs with dignity through food distribution.

Being a proud mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, Mrs. Thomas leaves behind to celebrate her life and to cherish her memory, her widowed daughter, Josceleyn Arielda Gonzalez, a New York City teacher, her son Ashton Emery Thomas, Esq., daughter-in-law, MaryAnn Mcfield Thomas, Esq. and her three grandchildren, Antonio, Gabriel, and Ashleyann. She also has four lovely great-granddaughters. Mrs. Thomas is survived by her two sisters, Violet.

L. Buford (Babes), Flora L. Chavis (Kitty), by her brother Victor M. Walters (John) and by her

brothers-in-law Luis Dogue, Bill Chavis, her dearest friend Helen Knight, and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, relatives, and friends.

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