Marian Lorraine (Hosey) Thomas

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Obituary

Marian (Hosey) Thomas, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and retired human services administrator, died after a three-month battle with cancer on June 2, 2018 in Bluffton, South Carolina. She was 87 years old.
Marian was born on December 9, 1930 in Savannah, GA to the late Walter and Mattie Hosey. She was the oldest of their three children, and the only daughter. At age 17, Marian traveled by bus from Savannah to upstate New York for the summer in order teach migrant farmworkers’ children how to read as a volunteer.
Marian graduated from Savannah’s Beach High School in 1948. In 1952, she graduated from South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, becoming the first member of her family to graduate from college.
During a science lab in her first year at State, she met Albert Thomas, a graduate student lab assistant. They married on December 29, 1952, a marriage that lasted 65 years until Marian’s death. In 1953, Marian and Albert moved to Detroit, MI, where they raised a son, Vincent, and a daughter, Pamela.
Marian started her career in a clerical position with the Highland Park, MI YWCA in 1953. In 1959 she joined the staff of the State of Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. She worked for the Department for 37 years, earning promotion to the position of District Office Manager. In that role, she led an office that administered the full range of federal and state-sponsored human services programs to individuals. She retired from the Department in 1996.
Marian served as an Elder and Deacon at Fort Street Presbyterian Church in Detroit, and as the leader of a Girl Scout Troop in the Detroit Area Council. Marian and Albert greatly valued faith and education, and rarely missed Sunday worship services, Wednesday night church programs, or teacher conferences and parent organization meetings at their son and daughter’s schools. Marian strongly supported Albert’s volunteer service to Fort Street Church, and to the Boy Scouts of America.
Marian and Albert moved to Sun City Hilton Head in Bluffton in 1998. They joined Lowcountry Presbyterian Church and volunteered to serve the church and to serve as class room aides in the Bluffton Public Schools. Marian also served as a board member at Literacy Volunteers of the Lowcountry, a volunteer receptionist at Beaufort Memorial Hospital’s Bluffton Primary Care facility, and as a volunteer staff member at the Sun City Book Exchange. Her social activities included her book club and her women’s group, “Sisters With A Purpose.” She enjoyed the arts, especially theater and classical music, and traveling with Albert via car to visit their daughter, son, and grandchildren.
Marian was preceded in death by her parents and her brother, William Hosey. She is survived by her brother, Michael Hosey of Detroit; her husband, Albert Thomas of Bluffton; her son, Vincent Thomas of Minneapolis, MN; and her daughter, Pamela Thomas-Graham of Chappaqua, NY. She is also survived by her sisters-in-law Melvea Hosey and Azalea Hosey of Detroit; daughter-in-law Barbara Thomas, granddaughter Mary Thomas, and grandson Michael Thomas of Minneapolis; son-in-law Lawrence Otis Graham, grandsons Gordon and Harrison Graham, and granddaughter Lindsey Graham of Chappaqua; and more than a dozen nieces and nephews.
Marian’s life will be celebrated at a Memorial Service at Lowcountry Presbyterian Church in Bluffton on a date to be announced. In lieu of flowers, Marian’s family asks that donations be made to Lowcountry Presbyterian Church, 10 Simmonsville Road, Bluffton, SC 29910.