Lela C. Furnish Thomas, 95, Richmond, passed away October 19, 2020. She was born in the Ferry House in Vevay, Indiana on March 4, 1925 to Claude and Clara Furnish. Lela attended Vevay High school where she was a member of the orchestra and cheerleader. After graduation, she moved to Richmond, Indiana and was employed by Perfect Circle where she was a Professional Pitcher for the company’s fast pitch team. It was there she met and later married her husband, Harry E. Thomas on October 1, 1944. They lived on Pleasant View Road their entire married life and raised three children: Robert E. Thomas, of Richmond, Linda Norman of Grand Prairie, Texas, and Deborra (Deby) Whalen of Monroe Washington. Also surviving are two grandsons; Craig Whalen, in Washington and, David Alexander True, in Texas, sister-in-law Jeannine Furnish of Canton, NC and numerous nieces and nephews
Lela is preceded in death by her husband, Harry, her parents, Claude and Clara, and her nine siblings, 3 boys Claude, David and Ralph and 5 girls Lucille, Evelyn, Dorothy, Martha and Ruth.
Lela enjoyed two dream vacations when she visited Berlin, Germany and then traveled to Vevay, Switzerland, her home town sister city where she signed the City Gold Book. Later, she swam with the dolphins in Hawaii. Lela worked over 32 years at Kings Abstract Company. She was a member of Whitewater Christian Church, Altrusa, and a Red Coat of the Richmond Chamber of Commerce. She directed the Indiana Demonstration Club Choir and she served as an advisor of the Theta Rho Girls Club. She is a Past District #18 Deputy President of the Indiana Rebekah Lodge IOOF. She served as Rainbow Girls Choir Director and Mother Advisor and is a 60 year member and five-time Past Matron of Loyal Chapter #47 Order of Eastern Star. A special honor night to recognize her many years of service is being planned by the Masonic Temple family.
Visitation will be at the Riggle-Walterman Mortuary, Inc. at 32 S. 11th Street on Thursday, October 29, 2020 from 5:00 to 7:00 PM. Eastern Star Services will be at 6:30 PM. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Lela’s name to the HELP the Animals, Inc at 2101 West Main Street, Richmond. If you’re unable to attend Thursday’s visitation, please send me a sentence or story about Lela for a memory journal we are creating at Whalen24@hotmail.com.