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Lillian E. Thomas, Catonsville resident and active church member, dies

Lillian E. Thomas attended Cherry Hill Community Presbyterian Church, and became a member of New Shiloh Baptist Church, where she was a deaconess and was active in many groups.
Lillian E. Thomas attended Cherry Hill Community Presbyterian Church, and became a member of New Shiloh Baptist Church, where she was a deaconess and was active in many groups. (HANDOUT)

Lillian Elizabeth Scott Thomas, a retired school teacher who was active in her church, died of heart failure June 28 at Northwest Hospital Center. The Catonsville resident was 97.

Born in Middlesex County, Va. she was the daughter of Walter and Sallie Scott. She attended Middlesex County schools and studied at Virginia State College in Petersburg.

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Family members said she developed an interest in cosmetology, left college, moved to Baltimore and studied to become a cosmetologist. While here, she she met and married Calvin Van Lear Thomas.

She worked in Baltimore beauty shops and later worked from her Cherry Hill home.

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Mrs. Thomas was also a substitute teacher at School 159 in Cherry Hill.

She was a founding member of the Contemporaries, a group of women committed to social change through scholarship assistance and social action projects.

"She could change the mood of anyone in a matter of moments and put a smile on their face," said her son, Bishop Walter Thomas Sr., pastor of the New Psalmist Baptist Church.

After attending Cherry Hill Community Presbyterian Church, she became a member of New Shiloh Baptist Church, where she was ordained a deaconess. She served in the Missionary Society, taught Saturday church school and served as a Woman's Day chair.

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Services will be held at 11 a.m. today at New Shiloh Baptist Church, 2100 N. Monroe Street.

In addition to her son. survivors include another son, Calvin Thomas Jr., a partner at the real estate appraisal firm Lipman, Frizzell and Mitchell; five grandchildren; and six great grandchildren. Her husband of 59 years, a U.S. Post Office worker, died in 2001.

— Jacques Kelly

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