When the road you walk is dark.
May you always hear,
Even in your hour of sorrow,
The gentle singing of the lark.
When times are hard may hardness
Never turn your heart to stone,
May you always remember
when the shadows fall –
You do not walk alone.
After a brief illness Karen Frances Thomas heard the call from her Lord and Savior and answered it on
May 23, 2016. She was born on November 21, 1946. At the time of her death she was 69 years old.
Karen was born and raised in Richmond, Indiana where she graduated from Richmond Senior High
School in 1964. She completed two years at The University of Cincinnati then she attained her
Masters of Art degree from Ball State University in 1972. She majored in French, English, Art, and
She was the daughter of the late Raysor William and Ruth Esther Thomas. She had one son, John
Thomas Loch who preceded her in death in 2014.
Karen resided in San Diego for than 38 years. Over time she grew to love the city and the multitude of
friends she made while living there. She attended the La Jolla Friends Meeting in La Jolla, California
with her son John. She was a member of the Children’s Religious Education Committee for many
years. She helped create and facilitate a curriculum that stressed inner light, equality and peace. She
also was an active member of the Retreat Committee and planned annual spiritual retreats.
Karen was an educator who was recognized for her 43 years of dedicated service. She was a Founding
Member and First African-American teacher at Eastlake High School (EHS) from 1992-2013. Her
co-workers at EHS shared the following:
- She was an original Staff member of Eastlake High - opened in 1992
- She was very involved with the Black Student Union and was a keynote speaker at ALL
of the presentations
- She was an English, Communications, and Art teacher here at EHS
- She was known for her sense of humor and staff video performances
Karen was a member of the Foust County Retired Teachers Association, Sweetwater Teachers
Association and the Neighborhood Watch Lunch Bunch and Prayer Group, Avon President’s Club,
National Association of Negro Women. She loved to travel and recently after retiring she went on an
Alaska Cruise and a Safari at Kruger National Park in South Africa. She travels often with her family
and close friends.
Karen shared wisdom and knowledge with family members with daily calls and shared her reflections
on life. She was the glue that held the Thomas family together. She kept in constant contact with her
family and friends and those closest to Karen felt her care and concern on a daily basis. Those calls
will be missed. Karen never forgot birthdays and one could expect a card from her; she was a very
kind-hearted person. She was the type of person who made friends of strangers and would speak to
everyone around her. If something stood out to her she would just strike up a conversation. When she
made friends they were friends for life and she had many; young and old. Every year in July and
December, Karen and John would visit family in Richmond, Indianapolis and Cincinnati. Her son
John looked forward to those visits. Every year he would pack his bags and tell his mom,” I’m ready to
go.” John was her loyal travel companion.
Karen was a member of Mount Moriah Baptist Church in Richmond, ministered by Dr. Ocie Poole.
She was preceded in death by her son, John Thomas Loch; parents, Raysor William and Ruth Esther
Thomas; grandmother, Lucille Huell-Burgin; brother Peter David Thomas; aunts Frances Dickerson
and Viola Quinn uncles, Otis Wynn, Willie Felder and Clyde Felder. She leaves to cherish her
memories: brothers, William Thomas (Rutha), Huntsville, AL; Stanley Thomas (Rita), Richmond, IN;
Michael Thomas, Morgan Hill, CA, and Charles Thomas, Richmond, IN. sisters, Gae Anne Williams
(Albert), Huntsville, AL; Rena Gibson, Huntsville, AL; Shirley Thomas, from Erlanger, KY; Mary
Thomas, Mitchellville, MD; Virginia Davis, Richmond, IN; Tommie Easley, Erie, PA; nieces,
nephews, cousins, and a host of friends.
The family of Karen Frances Thomas would like to give a special thanks to the members of La Jolla
Friends Meeting, Eastlake High School Faculty and Staff, National Association of Negro Women,
Neighborhood Watch Lunch Bunch and Prayer Group and to her special friends who loved and cared
for Karen while she lived in San Diego. God Bless each one of you.
“If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die,
we are the Lord’s”. Romans 14:8
Service for Karen Frances Thomas will be at: Anderson-Ragsdale Mortuary Chapel, 5050 Federal
Blvd., San Diego, CA 92102 on Thursday, June 2nd at 2:00 PM.
A second service will be at: La Jolla Friends Meeting, 7380 Eads Avenue, La Jolla, CA 92037 on
Saturday, June 4th at 10:30 AM with a reception to follow.