Barbara Olmsted Thomas, 94, passed away at home on November 5, 2023, in Ithaca, NY. She was born February 13, 1929, in Ottawa, Ontario, to Howard Russell and Claire Robertson Olmsted. She was predeceased in 2020 by her beloved husband of 69 years, Herbert Edwin Thomas. She was also predeceased by a brother Charles Robertson Olmsted in 1944, a sister Cathryn Olmsted Laver in 2019, and a grandson Will Brenton Thomas in 2021. Barbara is survived by her four children: Joanne Thomas Asbill (Henry) of Washington, DC, Herbert Charles Thomas (Brooke) of Baltimore, MD, Heather Thomas Stevens (John) of Ithaca, NY, and Ruth Thomas Suh (Chan) of New York, NY, as well as 14 grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
Barbara obtained her nursing degree at Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal, where she met her future husband Herb, who was completing his undergraduate degree at McGill University. They were married in the first year of his medical school program at Queens University in Kingston, Ontario, and spent the subsequent years raising their family in Detroit and Ann Arbor, MI, and Pittsburgh and Sewickley, PA.
Barbara was a homemaker and community volunteer, who was very active in many organizations in Sewickley, PA, where she and Herb lived for forty years. She served as an elder in the Presbyterian Church, a trustee of the Sewickley Valley Hospital, president of both the Sewickley Women's Club and Friendship Home, served Meals on Wheels for 38 years and was a lifelong member of the Canadian Women's Club of Pittsburgh. She loved to play tennis, golf and bridge, with competitive bridge becoming a passion in her later years. In her eyes, though, her greatest accomplishments were her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren whom she adored. The feeling was mutual, as she was cherished through three generations.
There will be a service to celebrate Barbara's life at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 18, 2023, at her church, United Ministry of Aurora, in Aurora, NY. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to United Ministry of Aurora, P.O. Box 91, 337 Main Street, Aurora, NY, 13026.