Audrey Petersen Thomas
Audrey Petersen Thomas was born Audrey Ann on May 23, 1929 to Henry and Anna Kirk Petersen. She was one of seven children born and raised on the family farm in Tyler, Minnesota–a town she fondly described, “where even the O’Tooles are Danish.”
Upon graduating, she attended Mankato State Teachers College and taught school in a one-room schoolhouse until her brother told her United Airlines was hiring and encouraged her to apply. Shortly thereafter, she began her training as a stewardess, eventually flying out of Denver, Chicago and Seattle, where she met Donald G. Thomas.
They began their married life together on September 8, 1954 – first settling in Bellevue, then moving to Bothell, where they spent 30 years, and retiring to Tacoma. With each community, Audrey gave of her time and self: she was a Den Mother for Cub Scouts, Brownie Leader for Girl Scouts, and a tireless volunteer for her children’s schools, earning her the Golden Acorn Award. She was a member of the Altar Guild at First Lutheran Church of Bothell, a caregiver for her own mother, and the neighborhood “mother” of her children’s many friends. She was loyal to her dear friends, and always welcoming new ones.
After moving to Tacoma, she continued to give of herself at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, Mary Bridge Children’s Foundation, Pierce College Foundation and countless other organizations: Audubon Society, The Humane Society, Lakewold Gardens, to name a few. Audrey volunteered in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit as a baby “rocker” and also won the hearts of the doctors and nurses who knew her. She was kind and friendly to everyone and was well loved in and around their neighborhood in the Proctor District.
Audrey was a talented seamstress, artist and gardener. She loved her garden both at home and at the family beach home on Camano Island. She also enjoyed reading and putting together puzzles. Audrey was proud of her Danish heritage, and had perfected the art of many traditional Danish foods, including Ebelskiver and Kransekake, which she lovingly made and shared with friends and family. She always had music playing wherever she was, and made sure each of her children were taught to appreciate music and play an instrument. She loved animals, especially her miniature schnauzer, Rudy. Audrey was proud of all her children and grandchildren, providing loving support to each one of them in their separate endeavors. One of her classic phrases was “You’re my favorite today.” She made everyone feel like her “favorite.”
She left us peacefully on October 4, 2013 and will be missed beyond measure.
Audrey is survived by her husband of 59 years, Donald Thomas; son and daughter-in-law, Kevin and Fran Thomas, grandsons Conner and Avery Thomas of Kent; daughter Kathryn Walkley, grandson Ethan Walkley of Tacoma; daughter and son-in-law, Karen and George “Scott” Scott, grandson Morgan Myers, granddaughter Anna Myers of Tacoma; daughter and son-in-law, Jane and James Bigelow, grandson James Bigelow of Tacoma.
Private interment will be held at Tahoma National Cemetery. A celebration of Audrey’s life will held on October 26, 2013. Please contact Kevin Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org for information. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Mary Bridge Children’s Foundation, PO Box 5296, Tacoma, WA 98415-0296.