Ann Elizabeth Grigsby Thomas, 84, died in Franklin, Tennessee on May 8, 2022 at The Hearth. She was born in Marion, Ohio on February 16, 1938 and was the only child of the late Everett Benjamin Grigbsy and the late Mildred Crow Grigsby. In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her father-in-law Marvin C. Thomas and mother-in-law Irene Harruff Thomas.
Surviving are her loving husband of 61 years, John Marvin Thomas, as well as three daughters and sons-in law: Deborah Ann Grimm and her husband Casey of New Orleans, Louisiana; Amy Elizabeth Thomas Mitchell and her husband Paul of Franklin, Tennessee; and Sarah Thomas Clemmons and her husband Charles of Greenville, South Carolina. She is also survived by six adoring grandchildren: Kaylor Ann Grimm, Isaac Benjamin Mitchell, Elizabeth Lynn Mitchell, Audrey Ruth Mitchell, Noah Harmon Clemmons, and Andrew John Clemmons. She is also survived by her brother-in-law Richard L. Thomas and his wife Helen of Winnetka, Illinois and brother-in-law Joseph H. Thomas and his wife Ellen of Pepper Pike, Ohio as well as by many beloved nephews, nieces, and cousins.
Ann grew up in Marion, Ohio where she met John and they had their first date on a church hayride during their junior high years. In 1956, Ann graduated from Harding High School. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Denison University in 1960 where she was a member of Chi Omega sorority. She married John on August 27, 1960. She worked as a Physical Education instructor after college graduation, but the job she cherished the most was that of mother.
Ann was completely devoted to her husband, daughters, and grandchildren. She maintained a spotless home, quizzed her kids for school tests, did countless loads of laundry, changed an infinite number of diapers, and enthusiastically cheered her kids and grandkids during sporting events. Several job relocations during John’s engineering career provided Ann the unexpected opportunity to live in five different states which all held a special place in her heart: Indiana, Alabama, Wisconsin, Tennessee, and Florida. Ann created and maintained lifelong friendships every step of their journey together. Her resiliency and positive attitude throughout these years set a wonderful example for her daughters. In 2019, after residing in Ocala, Florida for over 30 years, Ann and John moved back to Tennessee to live at The Hearth at Franklin to be closer to their daughter Amy and her family.
Ann’s family has wonderful memories of boat rides on the lake, game nights with cherished family friends, pool gatherings at their home, and vacations to celebrate big milestones. Ann’s home was often full as she hosted many get-togethers welcoming not only her friends but also her daughters’ friends. She truly loved entertaining. Happy hour prior to dinner was a beloved tradition during which a cold beer was Ann’s drink of choice and Goldfish her snack of choice. She also enjoyed watching a good college football or basketball game cheering on Purdue University (where John graduated) and later the Florida Gators.
Ann was a steadfast woman of faith. She exemplified the love of Christ every day through her dedication to her family and her service to others in her community through her volunteerism. She was a member of P.E.O. International and many book and bridge clubs through the years. She served for several years as church secretary at First United Methodist Church in Ocala, Florida. Many people have been touched by her kindness, generosity, and hospitality.
The family would like to thank her Hearth and Hospice nurses and caregivers who provided compassionate care. In lieu of flowers, please consider giving a donation to Denison University (100 West College Street; Granville, Ohio 43023 or support.denison.edu), Marion Senior Services, Inc. Attn: Meals on Wheels (1101 SW 20th Court; Ocala, FL 34471 or marionseniorservices.org), First United Methodist Church (1126 E. Silver Springs Boulevard; Ocala, FL 34470 or fumcocala.org), or a non-profit organization of your choice.
A Celebration of Life Memorial Service will be held at First United Methodist Church, located at 1126 E. Silver Springs Boulevard in Ocala, Florida, on Saturday, June 25, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. with a reception to follow in the Family Life Center. Until that time, gather with friends for game night or happy hour and say “cheers” in memory of Ann.