Thomas, Juanita Russell

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Juanita Russell Thomas of Christiansburg, Virginia died peacefully on May 4, 2016, at the age of 83, surrounded by her loving family.

Juanita is survived by her two sons, Russell Shelley Thomas of Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida and Jonathan Earl Thomas of Christiansburg, Virginia; her daughters-in-law, Claudia Medina Thomas and Jennifer Juul Thomas; her grandchildren, Ethan Shelley Thomas and Lauren Grace Thomas; siblings, Berta Russell Taylor and James W. Russell; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, Earl W. Thomas; four sisters; and one brother.

Juanita was born on June 24, 1932 in Section, Alabama to Edith and Mark Russell, the seventh of eight children. She graduated from Jacksonville State University in 1953 with a Bachelor of Science, and from Radford University in 1976 with a Master of Science. She married Earl Thomas, of Section, Alabama, in 1960. Earl was also an educator, with a Bachelor of Arts from The University of Alabama and a PhD in Secondary Education from the University of Pennsylvania. Juanita began her teaching career at Pisgah High School, Pisgah Alabama. After moving to Christiansburg in 1964, Juanita taught mathematics for almost thirty years at Christiansburg High School. She is fondly remembered by her students as a gifted, caring teacher.

Juanita was accomplished at cooking, sewing/needlepoint and other crafts. She was passionate about helping others through her Church, and for almost fifty years was a dedicated member of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church.

A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, May 7, 2016, 2:00 p.m. at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, Christiansburg, Virginia, with a reception following in the Fellowship Hall. Her Funeral will be held at Section United Methodist Church, Section Alabama, on Sunday, May 8, 2016, with visitation at the Church at 2:00 p.m., and the Funeral at 3:00 p.m. A reception will follow at the Church. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Juanita’s life at either service.

The family would like to thank the staff of Warm Health Village, Kroontje Center, for their care of and love for Juanita during her time as a resident.