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Longtime Professor Sharon Thomas Dies

Published: 6-7-2012 8:00 am

Sharon L. Wray Thomas, 69, of Wayne, died April 26 in Loup City, Neb. She held many teaching positions at Wayne State College from 1968 to 2006.

A service was held May 11 at the First Presbyterian Church in Wayne, with The Rev. Ray McCalla officiating.

She was born Aug. 21, 1942, in Salem, Ore., to John and Edith Wray. She graduated from Lake Oswego High and earned bachelor's and master's degrees from Lewis and Clark College. 

Sharon married Charles Thomas in 1968 and moved to Laurel, Neb. She began teaching at Wayne State College in 1968 in various teaching positions until her retirement in 2006. She was named the WSC Social Sciences Outstanding Faculty Member in 1989. She was a member of the National and Nebraska Councils on Economic Education, the National Association of Economic Educators, the National Council for the Social Studies, and the National Middle School Association.

She enjoyed playing tennis and golf, riding horses and was an avid photographer, setting up a darkroom in her home basement to process pictures. She was active in the community; she sponsored the local horse 4H club in Laurel, sang in the choir at the Laurel Presbyterian Church and played piano for the church. She also filled in as pulpit relief for local churches.

She is survived by two daughters, Heather (Ann Darin) Thomas of Tacoma, Wash., and Courtney Thomas of Firth, Neb.; a brother, Gary Wray of Cannon Beach, Ore.; two nieces, Charlotte (Mark) Larsen of Denver, Colo., and Jessica Wray of Portland, Ore.; and two nephews, Colin (Heather) Wray of Portland, and Cameron Wray of Baltimore, Md.

She is preceded in death by her parents.


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