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Mary Ellen Thomas

October 21, 1948 July 24, 2019
Mary Ellen Thomas
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Obituary for Mary Ellen Thomas

Mary Ellen Thomas, resident of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho passed away at home after courageously facing the challenges of cancer, surrounded and supported by her partner and soul mate, Gary Frensdorf, and her best friend Rhonda Hull on Wednesday, July 23, 2019 on the heels of an appropriately vibrant, raucous summer storm.

Born in La Crosse, Wisconsin on October 21, 1948 to Fred and Margaret Weymiller, Mary and her three brothers, Jim, Dan, and John, moved to Fairbanks, Alaska in 1958 where Mary continued to attend grade school. From Alaska, the family moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, where she graduated from Rancho High School in 1966.

Mary attended an array of accounting classes at The University of Nevada Las Vegas before adventurously departing for Kuai, Hawaii, on her own to spend a year managing a local bar. After returning to the mainland, Mary and a friend made plans to travel to Spain; however, the trip was thwarted due to upheaval surrounding Francisco Franco's leadership. Instead, the trip was routed to San Juan, Puerto Rico, where Mary and her friend opened a country western bar which they continued to run for several years.

Having developed a passionate love for the sound of waves and tropical landscapes, Mary left Puerto Rico for Saint Maarten where she was hired as operations director for the Pelican Resort, a position she held for fifteen years. In Saint Maarten, Mary met and married the charismatic Phil Thomas. The couple ran a restaurant and built a home in Saint Maarten. Prior to Phil's death in 1987, the couple divorced. It was during this time that Mary relocated to Coeur d'Alene, where her mother Margaret was residing and in need of care.

Mary met the love of her life, Gary Frensdorf, in 1990, and their intrepid, nomadic journeys began. The pair journeyed to the destinations of Seattle and Friday Harbor, Washington, the big island of Hawaii, San Diego, California, Alaska and Las Vegas, Nevada, before returning to Gary's hometown of Coeur d'Alene where they remained since 2008.

During her time in Coeur d'Alene, Mary held positions at several local nursing homes. Mary’s last position was with Home Instead, an in-home care facility. Mary was also deeply passionate about working with the Alzheimer's Association in Coeur d'Alene.

Mary's creative talents were on display throughout her life, and she enjoyed various art classes including silk screen printing and painting. Her talent as a freelancer saw her writing for various local and national magazines. Her work as a personal life coach was ongoing, including a stint as a columnist for Tidbits titled "Auntie M," giving advice on a range of topics, ranging from advice on lingerie to the pain of living with a loved one suffering from Alzheimer's. Auntie M always had the perfect response, and as she never received any "official" inquiries, she wrote those as well.

However, the most noteworthy aspect of Mary was her astounding warmth and authenticity. With a nature that found fun in "crossing the street," Mary brought joy to every day she lived. With the ability to connect with all those she encountered, Mary made every human feel their personal value, whether you were bagging her groceries, changing her oil, or inquiring about home health care. Her hugs were cathartic as well, and many have recounted the moment when Mary took time to give them one of her magical, loving squeezes. Mary was a window opener for many, a believer in optimism, and a great encourager, never happier than when she saw others rise and succeed beyond what they thought possible. Mary was a lover of life and deep diver into all things spiritual. Her infectious laugh and immeasurable loving nature will live on in all those whose lives she touched.

Mary is survived by Gary Frensdorf, Coeur d'Alene; daughter, Shelley McEuen, Twin Falls; granddaughter, Emma Brulotte, Twin Falls; niece, Melissa Weymiller, Sacramento, California; nephew, Johnny Weymiller, La Crosse, Wisconsin; brother John Weymiller, Nunn, Colorado; and brother Jim Weymiller, Palm Springs, California and Fairbanks, Alaska; and her Jack Russel Terrier Cross, Sophie.

A celebration of life will be held on October 18, 2019 from 4:00 to 8:00 PM at the with the venue yet to be determined. Donations can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 1042 W. Mill Ave., Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814

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