Johanna Faith Thomas, 75, a resident of the Arbors at Woodsfield, Ohio and formerly of Alledonia, Ohio passed away Wednesday, February 2, 2022 while a patient in WVU Ruby Memorial Hospital, Morgantown, West Virginia.
Johanna was born January 11, 1947 in Michigan and moved to Ohio after graduation. She was a member of the Armstrong Mills United Methodist Church and she was an avid reader. When she was young, she loved to go to the library. She was only allowed to check out four books at a time, and Johanna would have them all read by the next day. She never lost her love of books and reading in general. Her family believes that she had read over 10,000 books in her lifetime. Although romance novels were her favorite (Johanna would buy any book from the romance novel category) the size of the book, the author, or the topic really didn’t matter, she simply loved to read. Johanna also had a tremendous love for cats. But her last cat, “Biscuit,” held a very special place in her heart because she had bottle fed him when his mother died shortly after his birth. Their bond was very special. They would quietly pass their time, Biscuit, lying belly-up on Johanna’s lap; Johanna gently stroking his fur. Johanna also enjoyed playing cards, and she developed a special interest in Canasta. She and several friends would often get together to play different card games. She had never played the game of Canasta before, but her friends told her not to worry, they would find her a partner who was really good at Canasta and she’d learn as they played. She and her Canasta partner, Johnny Thomas began dating right after their first card game; six weeks later they were married. They were married for 52 years until his death on Valentine’s Day, 2017. During their 52 years together they had four children. Her granddaughter, Myranda remembers Johanna’s words, “it was perfect, I had two boys and two girls. I loved being pregnant and loved being a mother.” She cherished her girls and was proud of her boys, however nothing gave Johanna more joy than being a grandmother. Over the years, Johanna was known by many different names, to different people, “Mom,” ”Missy,” “Aunt,” were only a few of those names. But after becoming a grandmother, “Grandma,” became her favorite title, so much so that the staff at the Arbors and also her care-givers while in the hospital often called her “Grandma,” just to make her smile. Johanna loved “Grandparents Day,” at Beallsville Elementary; often she would “adopt” children whose grandparents weren’t able to attend. Myranda recalls it didn’t matter if you were “step,” “half,” “adopted,” “family friend,” or “blood relative,” Johanna would happily take on the role of grandmother to all. Johanna was passionate about family, but to her, family wasn’t just about the relationships created by blood. Family was determined by the room in your heart. And according to Myranda, her grandmother’s heart had more room than a hotel.
After Johnny passed away, her love of crocheting helped Johanna occupy her time. Her beautiful crocheted blankets became the perfect way for Johanna to express her love to her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, cousins, nieces, nephews, friends, and her other “family-members-by-heart.” So many hand-crocheted blankets have been created with love over the years; so many hearts have been touched by Johanna’s kindness.
Left to cherish her memory are four children, Jennifer (Robert) Long, John “Rick” (Susan) Thomas, Jr., Joseph (Joy) Thomas, and Jill Thomas (Joseph Hubbard); several grandchildren and great-grandchildren; also many friends. In addition to her husband, John Frederick Thomas, Sr., Johanna was preceded in death by her sister and brother-in-law, Jan and Pat Armstrong.
Visitation will be held at the Harper Funeral Home, Beallsville, Thursday, February 10 from 11am until 1pm at which time a Celebration of Life service will take place. Family and friends are invited to join as the family honors Johanna’s memory by sharing their memories.
After the service, the family would like to invite everyone to a luncheon and a time of fellowship to be held at the Jerusalem School House-Community Center, Moore Ridge Road, Jerusalem.
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