Joan Marie Thomas
Celebrating a Life and Legacy of Happiness, Strength, and Love
The sun rose and an amazing life journey began as Joan Marie Thomas was born on June 14, 1929, in New Orleans, Louisiana. Born to her parents, Joseph and Martha, Joan was the 6th child to be born into the family of 10 children. As a young girl growing up, Joan was blessed to be raised under the wisdom and guidance of her parents, as well as with the love and support of her brothers and sisters, Matthew, Jerome, Joseph, Bertrand, Samuel, Marjorie, Cathelyn, Elaine, and Martha. Over the course of her childhood, Joan liked to play jacks, hopscotch, climb trees with her brothers, and she loved playing her saxophone.
Joan received her formal primary and secondary education within the Louisiana school system. Joan was a diligent student and thrived academically in all her studies. She attended and completed her educational journey at Saint Mary’s Academy in New Orleans, Louisiana.
It was during her high school years that Joan would first meet the man that would become the love of her life, Joseph Knowlton Thomas Sr. Joan met Joseph in 1946 at a basketball game where he played for Saint Monica Catholic School. The two married in 1951 and began their journey together as husband and wife. This loving marriage lasted 68 years.
Over the course of her husband’s time of service in the military, Joan and Joseph were afforded the opportunity to start a family of their very own. The births of their children Jacquelyn, Sharon, Joseph Jr., Juanita, Bernadette, and Angela were an added blessing that made their family unit complete. As a military wife and mother, Joan traveled to Albany, Georgia, and Okinawa, Japan before finally settling in Denver, Colorado which would become the family’s permanent home. Together, the family enjoyed taking family road trips to New Orleans to spend time with their extended family. Over the course of her life, Joan’s unconditional love for her family became even more evident and unmatched as she continued to fulfill her duties as a dedicated, faithful, caring wife and mother.
By profession, Joan worked for Denver Public Schools as a Lunchroom Manager. Her love for her own children allowed her to thrive in this work in ensuring that every student had access to delicious food options and meals made from scratch, that anyone who entered the cafeteria was greeted with a smile, and that the lunchroom was a warm and welcoming experience for all children. Joan would perform these duties until retiring some years later.
A woman of strong faith and trust in God, Joan was a member of Cure d’Ars Catholic Church where she attended regularly and taught Sunday school. Joan was also a faithful member of the Knights of Peter Claver Ladies Auxiliary where she served for over 25 years. It was no secret that Joan walked with the Lord daily, and she often spoke to the fact that her strength came from her strong belief in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
As Joan’s journey continued, her grandchildren would become an additional source of pride and joy in her life. Affectionately referred to as “Granny” at a very young age, and despite the nickname not fitting her at that time in her younger years, Joan naturally embodied all of the attributes that make a grandmother special and carried the name of “Granny” with beauty and Grace.
In her spare time, Joan enjoyed playing card games, Pokeno, visiting casinos near and far across various states, and spending time with family and friends. During any occasion, you could catch her laughing hysterically with her sister, nieces, nephews, daughters, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Joan also loved cooking, and if you ever had the pleasure to taste anything she cooked, you immediately knew that it was made with love.
If you ever wanted a plant to live or be revived, just send it her way. She had a magical green thumb that would make any plant flourish. Joan would often relax in her favorite chair, working on her word puzzles, watching soap operas, game show network, Colorado Rockies Baseball, NBA and both of her favorite NFL teams, the New Orleans Saints and the Denver Broncos. Joan always spoke her mind so if you didn’t want to hear the truth, she was not the one to talk to.
The sun set on life of Joan Marie-Thomas here on Earth as she took her last breath and entered eternal rest on June 24, 2023, in Aurora, Colorado. She is preceded in death by her husband, Joseph Thomas Sr; parents, Joseph, and Martha Delmar; brothers, Matthew, Jerome, Joseph, Bertrand, and Samuel Delmar; and sisters, Marjorie Jackson, Cathelyn Lonon, and Martha Jane Delmar.
She is survived by her children, Juanita, Bernadette (Courtney), Angela (Joe); her sister, Elaine (Betty); her grandchildren, Angela Marie, Anthony, Maurice, Michael, Janine, Ricky, Shanika, Bohana, Ebony, LaTanya, Marcus, Karl, Candice, Andre, Brianna, LaQuia, Davon, Larry Jr., Courtney 3rd. and Brandi; a host of great-grandchildren, great-great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, extended family, and many, many friends.
While we know that she is absent from her earthly body, we take great joy in knowing her life and legacy of happiness, strength, and love have left us with an abundance of memories.
Mama, I will always remember helping you make the huge family Thanksgiving dinners and how you made the best Sunday meals ever.
Mama, I will always remember you starching and ironing the family clothes every day, especially our Cure d”Ars school uniforms, and funny memories like those of you chasing me so that you could press my hair.
Mama, I will always remember spending time with you at my house, where we would talk and laugh for hours while enjoying good food.
Each of these memories will last us for the rest of our lives, and we look forward to the day when we will see our beloved Joan again, reunite with loved ones gone on before, and see our Savior face to face. Job well done, Joan, take your rest, we will see you in the morning.