SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

July 16, 2013

Margaret L. Thomas, 95


Hobe Sound, FL — Margaret L (Karpinski) Thomas, 95, of Loxahatchee, Fla., and formerly of Wenham, Mass., passed away in her sleep on Tuesday, June 25, 2013, at the Manors of Hobe Sound. She was the beloved wife of the late Major Ferdinand Thomas, USAF (retired). She suffered a hip fracture on December 22, 2012. "Marge" was the mother of Rev. Ferdinand “Fred” Thomas Jr. of Loxahatchee and Peabody, Mass., and Dolores J. Thomas of Port St. Lucie, Fla.

Born in Peabody, Mass., on September 28, 1917, she was the daughter of the late Marjan and Leontyna (Sikorski) Karpinski, who both emigrated from Poland. She was born fourth in a large family of 11. She regaled us over the years with her many stories of life in such a large family.

Educated in Peabody schools, she later received her high school diploma from Falmouth High School. She was employed by Sylvania on Boston Street in Salem, Mass., for 13 years. She left in September 1942, moving to Monroe, La., where she married U.S. Army Air Force Cadet Ferdinand Thomas, who was commissioned in 1943. They remained in Monroe while her husband served as a navigator instructor. In the spring of 1945, they moved to Clovis, N.M., until the end of WWII, when the family then moved to Salem, and eventually Lynn, Mass. With the outbreak of the Korean conflict, the family traveled to Mobile, Ala., then to San Antonio, Texas, where she earned her beautician’s license. Following a short assignment in Oklahoma City, Okla., they moved to Itazuke AFB, Fukuoka, Japan. While in Japan, she was commended for organizing a trade fair showcasing the utilization of Japanese goods in the American home. Returning from Japan in 1958, they were stationed at Otis AFB, Falmouth, Mass. During these years, she was active in the Officers’ Wives’ Club, planning and implementing many activities. She won awards for her imagination and creativity almost always winning first place at the many costume parties. She and her husband also won the home Christmas decoration contest several years in a row. They lived in College Station, Texas, while her husband attended and graduated from Texas A&M University, returning in 1968 to Wenham, Mass. She was employed as a keypunch operator with the IRS in Andover, Mass. Subsequently, she became an accounting technician at Hanscom AFB, retiring in 1982. She traveled on many occasions to Europe with her husband, visiting relatives in Poland and the Ukraine. After her husband's death in 1999, she moved to Loxahatchee, with her two children and daughter-in-law. For a few years she became a snowbird, flying back and forth between Florida and Massachusetts. She loved to read and was constantly writing letters and sending "clippings" to all of her family and favorite politicians, and newscasters. She never missed watching her favorite television shows, EWTN, the Fox Network News and RFD-TV. She was always up to date on the latest events and well versed in many subjects.

In addition to her children, she is survived by her brother, Donald (Scuffy) Karpinski of Peabody; her daughter-in-law, Cheryl Thomas of Loxahatchee and Clermont, Fla.; and brother-in-law, Robert Turner of Melrose, Mass. She was the beloved aunt to Joanne Smith of Signal Mountain, Tenn., Raymond Karpinski of Wimauma, Fla., Philip Karpinski of Andover, Jerilyn Hilenski of Peabody, Dr. Jayna P. Costa of Citrus Heights, Calif., Natalie Maga and Janet Spanos of Peabody, Linda Lincoln of Danvers, and Donna Matczak of Salem; and many grandnieces and grandnephews. She had many friends all over the United States, Poland and the Ukraine, including Mrs. Helen Rogers of Pelham, N.H., and Ms. Kimberly Donahue of Danvers, Mass.

She was the sister of the late Eva Piekos, Vitalis Karpinski, Wanda Karpinski, Natalie Karpinski, Harry Karpinski, Bernard Karpinski, Victoria Quinn, Phyllis Woodbury, and Dorothea Turner.

ARRANGEMENTS: A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Clare of Assisi Church, 24 Washington Street, Peabody, at 4 p.m., July 20. Private burial will be at the Bourne National Cemetery, Bourne, Mass. Donations may be made in her memory to EWTN, 5817 Old Leeds Road, Irondale, AL 35210, or to Compassion of Christ Chapel, P.O. Box 7624, West Palm Beach, FL 33405, or to the Treasure Coast Hospice, 1201 SE Indian Street, Stuart, FL 34997.