Obituary of Agnes Elizabeth (Futch) Thomas
Agnes Elizabeth (Futch) Thomas, 95, passed peacefully on June 1, 2020, at her home in Melbourne, Florida. She was the daughter of the late Thelma (Lord) and John Lester Futch of Alapaha, Georgia. A blue-eyed beauty with an irresistible giggle, she was a warm and joyful soul.
She had unwavering strength from the moment she burst into this world in 1925. The doctor thought she would not survive, due to her small size, but she persisted for nearly a century. As a youngster, the Great Depression brought lean times… and a shiny dime from John D. Rockefeller, who strolled over to her perch on a nearby fence while he was playing golf.
Agnes lost her younger brother when she was 5, her mother when she was 10, and her father when she was 19, but she carried on. She was the first of her siblings to graduate from high school. Afterward, she worked at Western Union delivering heart-wrenching news to neighbors during WWII, and answered the wartime call-to-action by moving to Massachusetts, where she was a 'Rosie the Riveter' working on the M1 Garand rifle at the Springfield Armory.
Shortly after their blind date, she married a serviceman and followed him around the world as a military spouse for more than 20 years, including deployments to Japan, Taiwan (where she became a Mahjong champ) and Germany. Along the way, she lovingly raised four daughters from the 1940s through the 1980s, fashionably navigating a variety of styles and fads from her sewing machine to create beautiful clothing for each of them. Perhaps that talent was fueled during her time as a clothing buyer and model at Furchgott’s Department Store in Jacksonville, Florida, where Johnny Mercer was a customer who said she belonged in Hollywood. She politely declined.
A master bridge player, music lover, reader of poetry, and fan of any movie with a hummable tune, Agnes found the joy in every day. She will be dearly missed by all who experienced her kindness and love.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 67 years, Lieutenant Colonel Wray R. Thomas, USA, Retired, of Ashland, Kentucky, and survived by four daughters, Margaret “Peggy” Epling, Dorothy “Dotty” Henderson, JoAnn Thomas, and Marjorie “Margie” Morris, 11 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren.
A service will be held outdoors at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 6th at Fletcher Cemetery in Alapaha, Georgia (State Route 129 North). A Celebration of Life gathering will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes memorial donations to Team USA at the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Foundation.