Florence (Dot) Thomas of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, died Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017, just shy of her 99th birthday.
Memorial services were Monday, Aug. 28, 2017, at Our Savior's Lutheran Church, Sioux Falls.
Florence Marie (Dot) Devick was born Sept. 16, 1918, to Saebjorn and Amanda Devick. Dot was raised in Colton, South Dakota, with her seven siblings, Harold, Sara, Norman, Perry, Alma, John Stanley (Bud), and Mable Ione (Sis). She graduated from Colton High in 1936 and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Augustana College in 1940.
On March 23, 1941, Dot married Russell Thomas at First Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls. During World War II Dot worked as an executive secretary at John Morrell. When Russ came home, their mutual focus was family. Dot was involved in the church and was invited to help form a new Lutheran church in Sioux Falls. She became one of the founders of Our Savior's Lutheran Church which initially held its services at Augustana College. She spent many years teaching Sunday school and coordinating teachers at the church.
Dot became Parish Education Director at Our Savior's. She taught confirmation, was a board member of Lutherans Outdoors, was instrumental in the development of the camping programs, Boundary Waters canoe trips, Bible school trips to Rosebud Reservation, and youth leagues including those for special needs kids. She was also very involved in the Augustana Alumni Association.
Dot and Russ loved camping with their children took them to many of the national parks. They also renovated a lake cabin on Lake Carlos near Alexandria and hosted large extended family reunions.
Florence is survived by her children, Jane Thomas, Lesa Thomas, Julie Thomas (Michael Collins), Michael Thomas (David Thompson), Jeff Thomas (Jackie Thomas), Steve Thomas (Pat Reagan); her grandchildren, Maren Tollefson, Ian Thomas, Jason Thomas, Aaron Dafoe, Leif Thomas, Kristin DeWitt, Ross Dafoe and step-grandchild, Carly Dockstader; 11 great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Russell Thomas, and all of her siblings.
Arrangements were by Heritage Funeral Home of Sioux Falls, www.heritagesfsd.com.