Lucas, Thelma Flory

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Thelma Flory Lucas of Christiansburg, passed away Wednesday, March 9, 2016, surrounded by family and friends after a brief illness. Thelma, who was also known as “Dutch” and “Tinkerbell,” was born on March 11, 1932, in Nazareth, Pennsylvania to Ida and Preston Flory.

Known to generations of Christiansburg and Auburn middle school students as “Mrs. Bennett,” Thelma’s love of teaching inspired children to realize their full potential. Thelma brought light and love to everyone who crossed her path.

Left to treasure her memory are her daughter, Ellen Bennett Vest of Christiansburg; brother, John Flory (Joan) of Pen Argyl, Pa.; sister-in-law, Helen Eanes (Harold) of Christiansburg; sister-in-law, Pauline Flory of Pen Argyl, Pa.; and special cousins, Clyde and Karen Flory of Lansing, Mich. and Karen and Gary Scott of Hellertown, Pa. Thelma was also blessed with a number of what she called “bonus” family members, who came to her through marriage. Stepchildren Nathan Lucas (Karen) and Myran Moore (Doug); step grandchildren, Jessi Vest Brevard (Chris), Dusty Moore, Kacie West (Blake), and Elizabeth, Carolyn, Madeleine, Neal, Peter, and Christopher Lucas; and step great-grandchildren Caleb Brevard, and Hanley and Sloane West. She was preceded in death by her parents; her loving husband, Samuel J. Lucas; her son-in-law, Clay Vest; her brother, Allen B. Flory; and her dear aunt, Bertha Sassaman.

The family will celebrate Thelma’s life on Saturday, March 12, 2016 at Christiansburg Presbyterian Church, 107 West Main St., with the Rev. Don Makin presiding. Visitation will be held at 12:30 p.m., with a memorial service at 2 p.m. A reception will follow. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Thelma’s honor to Montgomery County Emergency Assistance Program’s food bank at, or by post to 110 Roanoke St., Christiansburg, Va. 24073.

Thelma often gave flowers to celebrate, and to those who needed cheer or encouragement. Her family hopes those who knew her will continue that tradition in their own lives.