Dorothy E. "Dottie" Thomas (Shilling), the loving wife of James "John" Thomas, the mother of four children and lifelong Hagerstown resident, died Sunday, June 2, at her home, surrounded by family and friends. She was 81.
Dottie was born Dorothy Elaine Schilling on Aug. 9, 1937 to John Fayman Shilling and Edna Shilling (Campbell) of Hagerstown. She grew up in a family of nine children and is the last surviving member.
She attended Hagerstown schools and married John Thomas on Feb. 26, 1954. They lived on Daycotah Avenue for more than 60 years between two long-time loving neighbors Linda Zonis and Jennifer Zeger.
She was employed for 20 years at the Dorbee Clothing Manufacturing Co. in Hagerstown. In the 1970s, she and Dottie Love opened the Jack and Jill Daycare Center. She worked there for 20 years before starting her own business as a home daycare provider. She retired in her 60s and is still known and beloved by many of the children she cared for.
She was an avid bowler in the ladies Longmeadow bowling league. She developed a love of crafts and was a vendor at the Kris Kringle Show every year. She gained a loyal customer following from all over the region and was noted for her primitive country craft designs. She loved finding antiques and collectibles at yard sales and loved playing board games and cards with family and friends.
She was a member of the Antietam Fire Company, Engine 2 Ladies Auxiliary in Hagerstown. She served as president and treasurer for many years. She was also an active volunteer at fundraising events and carnivals.
Dottie was a member of the Maugansville Bible Brethren Church with her husband and other family members.
She is survived by daughters, Debra Girard and husband Keith Girard; Tina Enders and husband Chuck Enders and Tracy Sanders and husband Daryl Sanders. She is also survived by one grandchild, Kristen Morgan (Girard) and husband Gabriel Morgan, two great grandsons, Hunter and Wyatt Morgan, and by sister-in-law Nellie May Hull.
She was pre-deceased by her husband of 63 years and beloved son of 59 years John Steven Thomas. She was also preceded in death by five sisters: Margaret Fritz, Betty Perrin, Ann Hose, Lucille Livingston and Linda Findley, and three brothers: John Shilling, Randolph Shilling and Berkley Shilling.
The family will receive friends at the Rest Haven Funeral Home on Pennsylvania Ave, Hagerstown, on Wednesday (June 5) from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The funeral service will be held at Rest Haven Funeral Home on Thursday, (June 6) at 11 a.m. with Pastor Chad Carter and long-time, loving friend, Pastor Dick Heckman.
Interment will be at Rest Haven Cemetery following the service. Following interment, the Maugansville Bible Brethren Church, 17904 Binkley Drive, Maugansville, will host a light luncheon.
In lieu of flowers memorial donations can be made to the Maugansville Bible Brethren Church, 17904 Binkley Drive in Maugansville, Antietam Fire Hall Ladies Auxiliary, 790 Potomac Ave., in Hagerstown, or the Hospice Society of Washington County, 747 Northern Ave., in Hagerstown.