Elfrieda “Heidi” N. Thomas (nee Heidemann) 96, of West Bend found peace on Saturday November 7, 2020.
She was born on June 19, 1924 to the late Otto and Frieda (nee Horneck) Heidemann in Kiel WI. She grew up on the family farm on Cedar Lake in Manitowoc County, and graduated from Kiel High School in 1942. She went on to nursing school at Deaconess Hospital School of Nursing in Milwaukee and graduated as a Registered Nurse. Heidi worked as a surgical nurse at Plymouth Hospital and sang in the Plymouth Community Choir, where she met her husband, Roland Thomas. They were married on October 12, 1950 at Zion Ev. Lutheran Church in Louis Corners, WI, the third generation of her family to marry on that date. Together they raised five children. Heidi worked at Cedar Community as a nurse for over 25 years, trained many nursing assistants, and was on various Cedar Community boards following her retirement. She was a 4-H leader to several clubs, was a member of the West Bend Rotary, and was a very active member of all the churches she attended. Heidi enjoyed singing, was a member of the Kettle Moraine Choir. She and Roland sang duets at weddings and funerals for many years. She was a volunteer and leader for medical and public health projects for 35 years in Haiti. She took over 75 trips there, surviving the 2010 earthquake, changing generations of individual lives, advancing communities, and developing enduring friendships. Her impact in Haiti was broad and deep and will endure for years. Many people are grateful for the work she did and the joy she has left us.
Those Heidi leave behind to cherish her memories include her five children, Mary (Roger Wong) Thomas, Katherine Thomas, Peter Thomas, Mark, (Cheryl) Thomas, Laura “Laurie” Stevens; eight grandchildren, Robbie Thomas, Shannon Thomas, Brandon Thomas, Sara Thomas, Noel Thomas, Anna Thomas, Kara Stevens, and Will Stevens; two great grandchildren, Noah Uelman and Eliyas Thomas; many nieces, nephews, other relatives, special surrogate son, Youdy Gaston, and friends.
In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by her husband, Roland Thomas; three sisters, Marian (Theodore) Hansmann, Henrietta (Rev. Ralph) Maschmeier, and Marguerite (Karl) Wernecke; two brothers, William (Louise) Heidemann and Rev. Frederick “Pinky” (Lucy) Heidemann; four sisters-in-law, Evelyn Hansmann, Nancy Heidemann, Laura (Walter) Siegert, and Alice (Frederick “Fritz”) Wedepohl; three brothers-in-law, Arno (Edna) Thomas, Herman (Leora) Thomas, and Allan (Florence) Thomas; and a grandson, Jacob Stevens.
A private family funeral service in remembrance of Heidi will be held at Peace United Church of Christ. A larger gathering to celebrate Heidi’s life is being planned for a later date.
Memorials in Heidi’s name to Peace UCC, to Cedar Community, or to Ventures in People in Heidi’s name are appreciated by the family.
Please consider signing our online guest book (www.myrhum-patten.com) to share your memories with Heidi’s family and community of friends. Cards addressed to the family may be sent in care of: Myrhum – Patten Funeral and Cremation Service, 1315 W. Washington Street, West Bend, WI 53095.
Myrhum-Patten Funeral & Cremation Service has been entrusted with Heidi’s arrangements. Additional information and guest book may be found at www.myrhum-patten.com.
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