Allegan County News & Union Enterprise Obituaries

Obituary: Phyllis Lucille (Belden) Thomas


Phyllis Lucille (Belden) Thomas, a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and friend, passed away peacefully on September 12, 2023 at her home. Born on January 4, 1934, in Dorr, Michigan, Phyllis lived a life marked by kindness, thoughtfulness, and generosity.

Phyllis, known for her strong work ethic and commitment to her community, worked at Allegan Tubular and Dawson Elementary.  Not one to sit idle, she was known to work three jobs during fair week, enjoying the usher position during the various shows and activities.  She was often the first to volunteer for tasks, especially cleaning up after events. Her dedication extended outside of her employment, as she tirelessly volunteered at the Allegan Medical Care Community, where she brought joy to many by doing women’s hair, running bingo games, and taking assisting with the adult daycare.

Her commitment to service was deeply rooted in her faith. From the age of 12, Phyllis was a longtime member of the South Monterey United Methodist Church in Allegan. Her leadership and dedication were evident in her role as a youth group leader and Sunday school teacher, inspiring generations of young people with her faith and compassion.

Phyllis was a beacon of positivity and sensitivity, never backing down from challenges or hardships. She had a special way of making everyone around her feel loved and appreciated. This was most evident in her relationship with her husband of 52 years, James E. Thomas, and their daughter, Jamie L. Thomas. Phyllis cherished the moments with her grandchildren, Dylan Bupp and Trista Bupp, and watching their sporting events and other activities.

Along with her husband, daughter and grandchildren, Phyllis is survived by her siblings, Earleen (John) Barber, Christine Thomas, and Mona K. Thomas, and her many nieces and nephews.

Phyllis was preceded in death by her parents, Alvin and Olive (Sharpless) Belden, her in-laws, Earl and Leva (Fredericks) Thomas, and her siblings, Don Belden, Emma Essenburg, Jerry (Evelyn) Belden, Mary Lou (Ray) Brennan, Robert Thomas, and Lyle Thomas.

Phyllis had a zest for life that was infectious. She was an active woman, who enjoyed baking and decorating cakes, especially her famous purple giraffe and steamboat cakes. Her home was always spotless, reflecting her meticulous nature. Despite always feeling cold and frequently found wearing sweaters, she had a warm heart that radiated love and care for others.

A thoughtful woman, Phyllis had a knack for remembering special occasions. She loved mailing out cards to others, a small gesture that left a lasting impact on the recipients. Her thoughtfulness and generosity were the hallmarks of her character, making her a beloved figure in her community.

Phyllis Lucille Thomas lived a life of service, love, and joy. Her legacy will continue to live on in the hearts of those she touched.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, October 7, 2023 at 11:00 AM at the South Monterey United Methodist Church, with a luncheon to follow the service.  In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the South Monterey United Methodist Church (2607 127th Avenue, Allegan, MI 49010) or Wings of Hope Hospice (530 Linn St., Allegan, MI 49010).

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