CARLSBAD, Calif. — Lavonne “Vonnie” M. Thomas, 82, passed peacefully surrounded by close friends after a short illness on Saturday, Aug. 11. Vonnie was born in Gilbert, Idaho, on March 24, 1936, to Elmer and Myrtle (Phar) Bell.

Vonnie was raised on a farm and following graduation from Nezperce High School, she attended the University of Idaho, graduating in 1957 with a degree in education. This was the beginning of a rich and rewarding career dedicated to elementary education spanning many years.

After teaching for two years, Vonnie returned to the University of Idaho to obtain her master’s degree. While walking on campus one day she came across her childhood friend, Richard Thomas, who had recently finished serving our country in the Army and was working on his degree. The rest, as they say, is history. A romance quickly blossomed and Vonnie married Rich, the love of her life, on April 3, 1960, in Nezperce, Idaho. They established a wonderful life together and truly enjoyed the company of family and friends and traveling. Their adventures allowed them to travel to all seven continents. Vonnie will be remembered as an incredibly sweet, kind and compassionate person.

Vonnie was an active member of the Village Church in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., and volunteered many hours in support of our active duty service personnel and veterans.

She was preceded in death by her parents and husband, Rich, who passed away in July.

Vonnie will be truly missed by many lifelong friends and her extended family.

Lavonne Marie Thomas

Share your condolences, kind words and remembrances below. You must be logged into the website to comment. Subscribers, please login. Not a subscriber? Register to comment for free or subscribe to support our work.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.