Cheryl K. Thomas, 79, died peacefully on Nov. 6, 2019, at Careage of Whidbey in Coupeville, Wash.
Cheryl was born Oct. 20, 1940, in Columbus, Ohio, to Onie Lehman and Webb Garrigus. She spent her childhood years in Columbus and Phoenix, Ariz., where she graduated from North High in 1958. Following graduation from San Diego State College, Cheryl started her career as an elementary school teacher in California, and then the Glendale, Ariz., school district. In 1974, she left teaching and began her 24-year career with Sears in Phoenix, eventually retiring from the Sears national headquarters in Hoffman Estates, Ill., in 1998.
Upon retirement, Cheryl moved to Coupeville, Wash., where she began her second career as a dedicated volunteer. She was instrumental in enlarging and managing the gift store at Admiralty Head Lighthouse, contributed time and energy to the Keepers of Admiralty Head Lighthouse, and was a founder of the Coupeville food bank, Gifts From The Heart. She worked tirelessly at both the lighthouse and food bank for over 17 years, leaving a priceless legacy for the community.
Cheryl was a devoted cat lover, avid reader, creative gardener and dedicated lighthouse enthusiast. She enjoyed spending short holidays in Seattle, attending musicals and plays. Cheryl had a wicked sense of humor and was a fierce friend.
Cheryl, an only child, was preceded in death by both her parents. She is survived by her cousins, Jack, Carolyn, Denise, Dianne, Mark, Catherine and Bill; her close friends, Kaye and Paula; and numerous friends and fellow volunteers she met through her activities in Coupeville.
A celebration of Cheryl’s life was held Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, in Coupeville. Cremation was handled by Funeral & Cremation Care in Bellingham.
Donations may be made in Cheryl’s memory to Keepers of Admiralty Head Lighthouse, P.O. Box 565, Coupeville, WA 98239; GFTH food bank, P.O. Box 155, Coupeville, WA 98239; or WAIF, P.O. Box 1108, Coupeville, WA 98239.