Kim Thomas was born on July 17, 1956, to Richard Snoddy and Louanne Reitz in Chicago, IL. She was a woman governed by giving to others. Her constant encouragement was, “Think of The Golden Rule.” She used this not to limit bad behavior but to actively initiate meeting others’ needs. This was her compass for serving God. Kim carried out this life-mandate in a highly organized fashion with lists, files, planners, phone reminders, and calendars always at the ready. Despite enduring a tumultuous childhood, she was governed by peace, calm, and gratitude.
Her parents bitterly divorced after the death of her older sister. The resulting home chaos left Kim, still very young, to care for her younger siblings. Fortunately, Kim maintained a strong relationship with her dad, and her childhood asthma became the reason to move her to California. There, she lived with her dad’s mother, Leonora Snoddy. Granny was unsure about becoming a surrogate mom to Kim, a teenager from the streets of Chicago, but Granny’s trailer park proved to be a training ground for her servant heart. Kim learned to do hedge trimming, weed-whacking, and cleaning for other members in the senior-only park. Her eye for detail paid off because the seniors liked tasks done just right. This may have resulted in
Kim feeling most rewarded in habitually doing things for others. She can only be described as a selfless, giving person. She came to know Christ as Savior within a Catholic youth group, encouraged by friends and Granny. Granny Snoddy encouraged her Irish roots to be part of Kim’s identity and she traveled there with a friend in 1976.
At age 23, she married Chris Thomas and had three children. Committed to her Christian faith, she volunteered at churches and church schools her entire life while raising her own children. She selflessly gave her abilities wherever she saw a need, including a life-long practice of blood donation. As frequently as possible, she acquired tools to better serve those around her. This included Reading Systems Training to improve the students’ phonics and reading speeds. She also became certified to assess basic personality temperaments, so students would understand how they interrelated and what vocations might suit them. She taught academic subjects, supervised student progress, and even organized choirs. Kim downplayed
her beautiful voice, claiming, “I am just trained to sing.” Only when pressed would she admit that she qualified through an audition into her high school honor choir, which ventured as far as Vienna to sing in the Baroque Music Symposium, normally reserved for colleges. She loved helping students reach their potential and achieve goals. Kim eventually volunteered as a college guidance counselor at the high school level. This would seem to be enough for anyone’s plate, but during this phase of her life, she also managed to set a personal goal of completing her degree in Childhood Development. Then Kim, to accentuate her academic achievement, proceeded to obtain a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. She enjoyed the
physical discipline enough to follow up with a second black belt in Hapkido. She would sometimes yield to her kids’ coaxing and break boards to entertain teenage guests.
She provided elder care for Granny and later for Chris’s aging father. Eventually, both Granny and Doc lived under her care simultaneously. They both cherished her willingness to care for them until their deaths.
When California locked down, Kim and Chris moved to Missouri to be with their precious grandkids who had moved there a few years earlier. She was already invested in continuing work volunteering twice a month for her church nursery. After three short years in Missouri, she had already been accepted as Grandma to the extended family of her daughter-in-law, which brought her joy. By baking and gifting zucchini and banana breads, she also extended love to family friends. This was just part of her giving nature. Sadly, her life of service was cut short when she passed away on November 22, 2023, after a brief illness.
Kim is survived by her husband, who justifiably referred to her as “The Best Wife in The Galaxy,” her three children, Aaron, Michael and daughter-in-law Rosie, and Deborah and son-in-law Julius. Their two Missouri grandchildren, Cruz and Sofia, and Julius’s son Mason. She also has surviving sisters Terri and Michelle, her stepmother Pearl, stepsister Cindy, and stepbrother Chris. She will also be deeply missed by Sheila Streeter and her daughters, Hannah, and Mia, who over the decades have become an extension of the family. Her faith and service survive her in the lives of the students and adults she touched over the years, the impact of which has a ripple effect on too many to mention.
Services: A service celebrating her life will be held at The Crossing Church 1800 Bowles Ave. Fenton, MO 63026 Friday December 15 at 10:00 AM. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Boys and Girls Club of West San Gabriel Valley 328 South Ramona Ave. Monterey Park, CA. 91754.