Per her wishes, no services are planned for Rita Diane Thomas, 79, who passed away peacefully March 4, 2023, at Parkside Homes in Hillsboro.
Inurnment will be at Claney Cemetery near Marion, next to her beloved parents.
She was born April 9, 1943. to Carl and Verna (Suffield) Hansen and grew up on the Townsend Ranch near Peabody.
She graduated from Peabody High School in 1961, moved to Emporia and graduated from Kansas State Teachers College (now Emporia State University) in 1965 with a bachelor’s degree in education.
Starting her elementary teaching career soon after in Strong City, she then took time off to start her family.
During that time, she received her master’s degree in education from Emporia State in 1973.
After her children were of school age, she returned to teaching at Logan Avenue Elementary School in Emporia for 22 years before retiring.
She is survived by sister Carlene and brother-in-law Carl Bedner of Emporia; daughter Shelli R. Thomas-Snyder and husband David of Wichita; and son Brian R. Thomas and wife Jennifer of Emporia.
Rita adored and doted on grandchildren Breanna and Ashlyn Voorhees and Kaylee, Nathan, and Jordan Thomas and great-grandchildren JaeLeigh and RynLeigh Nettrouer and Finneas Rivard.
Because she loved all animals, memorials may be sent to the Humane Society of the Flint Hills or David Traylor Zoo care of Yazel-Megli Funeral Homes, PO Box 96, Marion KS 66861.
Please sign her online guestbook and leave a memory of Rita at www.yazelmeglifh.com.