1935 – 2019
Elizabeth Anne McFarlin Thomas, 83, of Anderson, Texas, formerly of Pasadena, Texas, died Tuesday evening, July 30, 2019, at CHI St. Joseph Health Regional Hospital in Bryan, Texas.
Funeral services took place 2:00 p.m. Sunday, August 4, 2019, at Anderson First United Methodist Church in Anderson, with Pastor Jeremy Woodley officiating. Interment followed in Martin’s Prairie Cemetery in Keith.
Elizabeth Anne was the fifth of six children born to John Watson and Jessie Elizabeth Sisk McFarlin on November 5, 1935 in Big Sandy, Texas. When the family moved to Haskell, Texas in 1947, Anne’s determination and intelligence led to scholastic success and leadership roles unique for a woman of her time and place.
As president of Haskell’s Methodist youth group, she met Clyde Thomas, who was president of the Paint Creek Methodist youth group. The high school sweethearts married in 1952, moved to Abilene first and then Denton, where Julie Anne and Steven Donald were born while the couple attended college. In 1954, after Clyde received his accounting degree, the family moved to Pasadena, Texas where Jennifer Leigh and Andrew Alan were born.
Anne obtained her Masters Degree in English Literature from the University of Houston and began teaching at San Jacinto College. Students recall her intimidating glare should a comma be misplaced or subject and verb fail to agree. However, they also said that her classes, though challenging, taught them how to communicate effectively through the written word with commas properly placed. She advanced to Dean of the English Department, was nominated for the prestigious Piper Award for teaching excellence and retired after thirty years of service.
Anne was president, founder, and active supporter of many groups that fostered and appreciation for education, music and history including Pasadena Philharmonic Orchestra, Pasadena Historic Society, San Jacinto Day Foundation, Harris County Historical Commission and Anderson Historical Society. She was also a Girl Scout Leader, 4-H group leader, a Rotary Ann, chairman of the Pasadena Strawberry Festival and an active member of Pasadena First United Methodist Church.
Her love of Texas history lead to in-depth research on Sam Houston and his racehorses which became a published piece. An avid “Sesquicentennial list”, she was instrumental in the creation and publication of The Texian Calendar and Diary. During these busy years, Anne and Clyde also showed great entrepreneurial spirit. They owned a shoe store, opened a feed store, and became sheep farmers, cattle ranchers and Christmas tree growers.
Always kind and patient, determined yet forgiving, the hallmarks of Anne’s life were her belief in the value of education and the love of family. Her mantra – “You can do anything you set your mind to” was demonstrated in her life’s accomplishments. She will be dearly missed, but she has made the world a better place.
Anne was preceded in death by her parents, brothers, Stanford and Bill McFarlin, sisters, Mary Elaine Barnet and Jean Austin.
Survivors include her husband of 67 years, Clyde Thomas of Anderson; children, Julie Thomas Horn and husband Geoff of Navasota, Steven Donald Thomas and wife Vicki of Montgomery, TX, Jennifer Thomas of Shiro and Andrew Thomas and wife Shelley of Fruitland, Idaho; 11 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren; a sister, Nancy Woodson of Denver, CO along with many other relative, friends and Texians.
For those that desire, it has been suggested that memorials in Anne’s name be made to Anderson First United Methodist Church, 256 S. Main St., Anderson, TX 77830 or a favorite charity.
You are invited to sign the guestbook and leave condolences for the family at www.lindleyrobertsonholt.com.