Following a lengthy illness, Carol Beatrice (Vatland) Thomas, 84, of Kingwood and Houston, Tex., completed her journey home to God on the 5th of June. Growing up on a farm near the town of Mabel, in southeast Minnesota, Carol married Eugene “Tom” Thomas, July 7, 1962. During their life together they worked and lived in Okinawa, Italy, throughout the United States, and traveled in the Orient, throughout Europe, and the Holy Land.
Carol graduated with a B.S. in nursing from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn. During her nursing career she experienced both surgical and medical hospital nursing, care of the elderly, and for the final 12 years, elementary school nursing in Humble, Tex. She enjoyed creating and presenting special programs for both children and adults. While she enjoyed finding time to sit down and play her piano, one of her very favorite pastimes was to select a children’s book from her extensive library, and simply sit down to read to a child.
Carol was a life-long Christian who actively sought ways to serve her Lord with her musical talents, teaching skills, and a pair of very willing hands doing whatever needed to be done. She was most caring of any in need, willingly opening her home to provide shelter and comfort for those stranded or displaced by circumstance including a newborn infant whose mother could not immediately return home after delivery, and a family of seven displaced from their New Orleans home by Hurricane Katrina.
She is survived by her husband of nearly 59 years; sons John of Spring, Tex., and Brian (Kellie) of Dallas, Tex.; daughter Caroline (Stephen) Webb of Cypress, Tex.; beloved grandchildren: Elyse, Josh, Blitz (Suja), Sarah, Zachary, Hannah Grace, Benjamin and Grant; great-grandchildren: Thresia, Anna, Josiah, Matthias and Richard; and brother LaDue Vatland.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Byron and Odis Vatland; brothers Lowell, Blaine and Terry; and daughter-in-law Michele Thomas.
In her own words “I have been a nurse, wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, storyteller and kingdom worker. I am most of all grateful to be called a child of God. The Lord has blessed these efforts. The joy is in the journey!” Among her writings is the following poem:
“I have an altar in me,
It is a holy place.
I lay down all my burdens.
He fills me up with grace.”
The Texas funeral service was held at Kingwood United Methodist Church, 1799 Woodland Hills Drive, Kingwood, Tex. on Friday June 11.
A visitation will be held from 5-7 p.m. on June 18 at the Mengis Funeral Home in Carol’s home town of Mabel, Minn. A final funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on June 19 at the Garness Trinity Lutheran Church, 42081 130th Street, Mabel, Minn. 55954. Interment will follow at the Garness Trinity Lutheran Church cemetery, GarnessTrinity.org.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to either the Kingwood United Methodist Church Memorial Fund, Garness Trinity Lutheran Church Memorial Fund, or to “Operation Smile”.
The Mengis Funeral Home in Mabel is assisting with local arrangements.