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Elaine Marie Thomas, age 75, of Mankato, Kansas, passed away on Sunday, December 23, 2018 with her family by her side at Salina Regional Health Center.
She was born to William (Gene) and Elizabeth Murray on January 6, 1943 in Mankato, KS. She went to school and graduated from Mankato with the class of 1961. Elaine also attended beauty school briefly in Manhattan.
Elaine married Don Grelinger in 1963. This marriage was blessed with three daughters: Karen, Pam, and Sherry. In 1976, Elaine married Douglas Thomas and this union was blessed with a fourth daughter, Jennifer.
In addition to raising four daughters, Elaine had many activities she held dear to her heart. She loved coaching softball, helping with the local Easter Egg Hunt, and she originated and directed the Jewell County Angel Tree for several years.
Elaine worked in various capacities throughout her life. She was a business owner, opened a daycare, ran the senior center, and worked for Dr. Schlotterback for many years. She ran the motel, worked as a dispatcher, and was a sorority house mom for Alpha Chi Omega at K-State. One job she thoroughly enjoyed was writing for the local newspaper. Elaine enjoyed interacting with the public and sharing the local news. She even continued to update everyone on the local happenings via Facebook each and every morning.
She is preceded in death by her parents; her sister and husband, Pat (Jim) Powell; and a nephew, James Standley.
Elaine is survived by four daughters: Karen (Jeff) Smith, Holdrege, Nebraska; Pam (Eldon) Dunstan and Sherry (Rob) Partridge, Mankato, Kansas; Jennifer Thomas, Kannapolis, Kansas; 15 grandchildren, 24 great grandchildren, with 2 more on the way; sister Terry (Jim) Standley, Augusta, Kansas, as well as nieces, nephews, and many, many friends.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, December 29, 2018, at 1 P.M. at the Mankato Community Center, Mankato, Kansas. Family will be receiving guests after the service. Inurnment will be private.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Elaine Thomas Memorial Fund, to be designated later, in care of Kleppinger Funeral Home, 409 Broadway Jewell, Kansas 66949.