Maria Antoinette Thomas
Fitchburg – Maria Antoinette (Cambarare) Thomas passed away on September 12, 2012.
Maria is survived by a son, Philip Thomas of Middleton; daughters, Diana Thomas of Madison, and Maria (Larry) Wakefield of Shoreview, Minn.; grandson, Derek Wakefield of Little Canada, Minn.; granddaughter, Alicia Thomas of Madison; great-granddaughter, Jaida Walek-Wakefield of Little Canada, Minn.; one brother, Carmen Cambarare of Elyria, Ohio; and many nieces and nephews. Maria was born on October 6, 1921 to Lumenta and David Cambarare in Lorain, Ohio. She and Wilbur C. (Bill) Thomas were married on November 4, 1942 in Covington, Kentucky.
Maria completed a business administration course and worked as a civilian employee at the Tuskegee Air Force Base until Bill completed his tour of duty. She was then a stay-at-home Mom and later worked as a nursery school teacher in Warren, Ohio, and with the League of Women Voters in Madison.
She was a volunteer craft, knitting and crocheting teacher at Brittingham (15 years) and Romnes (11 years) Senior Citizen Centers; played piano and taught Sunday and Bible School. She organized and coordinated the West Towne Mall Community Bazaar that began with six churches and grew to 20 churches, non-profit agencies and a synagogue.
Maria was President of the United Methodist Women for many years, and a women’s circle of UMW was named for her. She was a charter member of Friends of South Madison Neighborhood Center, a member of the Parent Teacher Organization of the Madison Public Schools, and a leader of a 4H Group, and active with the Girl and Boy Scouts of America.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the South Madison Library. Funeral services will be held Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012 at 11 a.m. at Trinity United Methodist Church, 1123 Vilas Ave., Madison, WI 53715. A visitation will be held prior to the service beginning at 10 a.m. Interment will be at Westwood Cemetery in Oberlin, Ohio at a later date.