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Lena Thomas

| May 25, 2005 12:00 AM

Former Libby resident Lena Lula Mercer Thomas, 96, died on May 17, 2005, at the Immanuel Lutheran Home in Kalispell.

She was born on Jan. 25, 1909, at Fort Branch, Ind., the oldest of the five children of Gem and Lydia Ulrigg Mercer.

The family lived at Ava, Mo., before moving to Missoula in 1918.

Lena attended Lowell Grade School and graduated from Missoula County High School in 1927.

She was a member of National Honor Society, the debate team and president of the senior class.

She attended Montana State University and worked at the Missoula Public Library.

Lena married Edward William Thomas at Missoula in 1929 and the couple lived there until moving to the Rollins area of Flathead Lake in 1975.

They lived at Libby from 1993-1996, and following Edward's death in 1999, Lena lived at Immanuel Lutheran Home.

During her many years in Missoula, Lena was active in school and youth activities and community projects. She served as president of Missoula Woman's Club, 1950-1951, and was a member of First Methodist Church.

She loved caring for her family, reading, writing letters and journals and doing needlework and gardening.

She was preceded in death by her husband Edward, brother Gerald Mercer and sister Rita Mercer Nelson.

Survivors include brothers Gem Mercer, Polson and Harry Mercer, Visalia, Calif.; daughters Patricia Ann Colby of Seattle and Rollins, Shirley Jane Harryman of Kalispell, and son Gary Edward Thomas, Langley, Wash.; 10 grandchildren including Kim Harryman Lee, Libby; 13 great-grandchildren, including Kira, William and Anna Lee, of Libby, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Cremation has taken place and a private family memorial service will be held at a later date.