Today I honor the memory of a close family friend; a member of the rural Star Community where my wife and I grew up. Julia, my mother, Eileen, and my mother-in-law, Ruth, were active members of several social organization together for many years in the Coon Rapids, Iowa, community.
My Dad's sister, my aunt, married the brother of Julia's first husband, Arnold. Arnold was one of a small group of 'fishing buddies,' of my wife, Nancy's dad, Glenn. Nancy played dolls at their house when she was young, especially with their oldest daughter, Rebecca. Rebecca was a year or so younger, but, she and Nancy and I were in many band, chorus, and other school groups together, in addition to church youth activities. Their youngest daughter, C.J., was in my younger brother's (Tom- T.K) class in school, so she was a frequent visitor at our house in the early years.
Finally, it was from Julia that I first heard the term "Ozarks" as a 'great place to live or visit.' I thought she was talking about 'hill-billies' country, but, for the past 40 plus years my family and I have been annual visitors and we now 'live there' in retirement.
Thank you to Dahn and Woodhouse Funeral Home in Carroll, Iowa, for the following online information.
(Died October 25, 2011)
Julia Thomas Rees, age 98, of Coon Rapids, Iowa, passed away on Tuesday, October 25, 2011 at St. Anthony Regional Hospital in Carroll. Funeral services will be held at 10:30 A.M. on Saturday, October 29, 2011 at the First United Methodist Church in Coon Rapids with Rev. Dennis Bailey of the First United Methodist Church in Carroll officiating. Friends may call at the Dahn and Woodhouse Funeral Home in Carroll after 5:00 P.M. on Friday evening where there will be a prayer service held at 7:00 P.M. The casket will be moved to the church at 8:30 A.M. on Saturday where visitation will resume until the time of service. Organist for the service will be Lula Garnes and soloist will be Mark Caraher. Burial will be in the Oak Hill Cemetery near Coon Rapids. Casket bearers will be Ron Bowman, David Thomas, John Thomas, Wilson Thomas, William Thomas, and Lonny Namanny. The family suggests memorials be made to the Coon Rapids Garden Club and the Iowa CU TTT Society of Coon Rapids.
Born on May 8, 1913 at Scranton, Iowa, she was the daughter of Raymond and Lucy (Essex) Hicks. She was the oldest girl of eight children. Her family moved to Kansas when Julia was a child where her father worked in the oil fields. They later moved to Arkansas where she graduated from high school at Siloam Springs in 1931. Following high school Julia returned to Iowa and worked various jobs until she was married to Arnold Thomas on March 14, 1939 on their cousin’s farm where the couple later made their home and raised their family. Julia loved her farm life. She was a member of the Star Methodist Church of rural Coon Rapids. Upon its closing the couple joined the Pleasant Ridge Friends Church. Mr. Thomas passed away on July 15, 1988 and Julia continued to live on the farm for the next twenty years. She was married to Maynard Rees on May 8, 2002 at Pleasant Ridge Community Church. Julia was a member of the Iowa CU TTT Society of Coon Rapids, the Star Progressive Club, OMC, the Red Hat Ladies, the Birthday Club, the Coffee Group, and H&H Club. Julia enjoyed sewing for her three daughters, quilting, shopping, entertaining, flower gardening, and spending time with her family and friends.
Surviving are her husband Maynard Rees of Swan House in Carroll; three daughters: Rebecca Thomas of Kansas City, Missouri and rural Coon Rapids, Sharon Spotts and her husband Randy of Ida Grove, Iowa, and Claudia C.J. Niles and her husband Wes of Carroll; three grandchildren: Janie Thomas, Laura Thomas, and Amanda Thomas all of Kansas City, Missouri; one great granddaughter Morgan Thomas of Kansas City, Missouri; a sister Virginia January of Tulsa, Oklahoma; a brother Loren Hicks of Birmingham, Alabama; two sisters-in-law: Ginny Hicks of Yakima, Washington, and Dorothy Hicks of Marshall, Missouri; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins. She is also survived by her special friends Gil and Bronwyn Morgan of Scottsdale, Arizona, and their four daughters who thought of Julia as their grandmother. Julia was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Arnold, four brothers: Erroll, John, Forest, and Milo Hicks, and a sister Rosa Winder.
Families are Forever! ;-)