Fulton-Theroux Funeral Service

13 Lake Ave, Niantic, CT


Iva Thomas

December 2, 1922August 16, 2020

Iva Thomas, 97, entered peacefully into eternal rest on August 16, 2020. She was born in Tennessee and received her undergraduate degree in Institutional Management (Life Skills) from the University of Tennessee, where she met Clarence (Tommy) Thomas. They were married in 1944 and cherished each other for 63 years until he predeceased her in 2007. She was a devoted mother to Linda Helvig (Paul) and Nancy Warren (Tony); grandmother to Karen (Helvig) Stewart, Jeffrey Helvig, Sarah Warren, Paul Warren, David Warren, and Joanna (Warren) Carter; and great-grandmother to Kimberley and Lauren Stewart, and Spencer and Sam Helvig; and a loving aunt to numerous nieces and nephews. Iva’s curiosity was insatiable and her imagination was limitless. Her love for learning and her dedication to children inspired her to volunteer in the schools her children attended, which led her to pursue a master’s degree in library science at Southern Connecticut State University. She was hired as head librarian for the three elementary schools in East Lyme, where she encouraged a love of reading and created games to teach library skills. In 1983 students and staff honored Iva with a surprise Iva Thomas Day celebration “…because of what she’s done with the elementary school libraries and because she has given so much of herself to the children.” After retiring from East Lyme, she worked at the Waterford Public Library. Iva was an active member of the Niantic Community Church, and each year she looked forward to her role as Mrs. Santa during the Jack Frost Bazaar. For over 50 years she delighted in cherishing each child with her undivided attention and a small gift. Iva’s belief that each person is unique and worthy of love and respect was also the basis for her involvement in the East Lyme Nursing Association as they established the Visiting Nurses and the Meals on Wheels programs in the town. In her spare time, Iva enjoyed gardening, playing bridge, and hosting dinners for family and friends. She and her husband enjoyed travelling inside the United States as well as abroad and were often joined by good friends. Her gentle nature, upbeat attitude, deep faith, and unconditional love for all people will be missed by those who knew her. Burial will be private at the discretion of the family, and a virtual Celebration of Life will be recorded and made available at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Niantic Community Church, Gemma Moran Food Bank, East Lyme Historical Society or another charity of your choice.


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Iva Thomas

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Deborah DeConto

September 1, 2020

Iva was such a gentle and beautiful soul. She was always smiling, and always had a kind word. I'm sorry for your loss. Prayers for comfort, healing, and peace.

Jackie Mazzella

August 30, 2020

Oh, No, Mrs. Klause?! You made Christmas wonderful for my (now grown adults) children. It wouldn’t be the holidays if we didn’t come in to see you and get a picture. Thank you for being a part of our lives. God bless you and love to your family during these sad times. You will be missed.

Dale Hobbs

August 30, 2020

Mrs Thomas lived across the street from us my entire life in East Lyme. Her and Tommy were the nicest neighbors one could hope for. She was a special librarian at LBH Elementary and always had a book recommendation in line with my interests at every visit. Years later my mom Donna joined her as an assistant librarian and they became an inseparable team for many years. In retirement the Thomases joined my folks in numerous vacations far and wide. They were my parents’ best friends. Shortly before my mom died earlier this year she reminisced at length about her wonderful life with Iva and Tommy. My deepest condolences to Iva’s wonderful family.
Dale Hobbs, Seattle

Rosemary Littlefield

August 30, 2020

So very sorry for your loss. I remember listening to her read stories in the library at Lillie B. Haynes and of course as Mrs. Claus at the church. A beautiful woman inside and out. I enjoyed chatting with her in her later years at CP. She will be missed by all who were fortunate enough to have known her ❤️❤️.

Laura Little Holt

August 30, 2020

My sincere condolences to Iva’s family. She & Tommy were such wonderful neighbors, who helped our family through some challenging times. Tommy taught me the love of vegetable gardening. Iva’s southern fried chicken was the best. Every Christmas she would bake an amazing Cheesecake. It took years for me to persuade her to share her “secret recipe.” The card in my file still reads “Iva Thomas cheesecake.“ I didn’t visit Niantic often after my parents passed, but stopping by Iva’s was always such a pleasure. Warmed my heart to see years of Christmas photos of my children on her fridge.

Vicky Hilton

August 30, 2020

Iva was one of the most genuine people I ever met. She was always so happy. Spreading love and happiness. We should all should inspire to be like her. A great person with a soul that will be cherished by so many. Thoughts and condolences to the entire family.

Margaret Herzberg

August 30, 2020

I will always remember how special Iva made me feel when at church. Her gentleness and kindness are missed. What a treasure she was!


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