Elnora Thomas

Obituary of Elnora Thomas

Elnora Thomas, 90, of Indianapolis passed away on July 10, 2023. She was born in Hazard, KY to John and Alice (Begley) Combs on July 15, 1932.

Elnora grew up in the hills of Kentucky, moving with her family as a teenager to Indianapolis Indiana. She attended Washington High School on the city’s westside. She was married to James Downey from 1953 to 1969, and their family grew with the births of Robin, Tim, and Kelly. She worked at the Speedway Motel, holding many positions from waitress to managing the kitchen and banquet rooms. It was during this time she met and married the second love of her life, Willard Thomas. They were happily married from 1986 until his passing in 2016.

Elnora loved socializing, and she and Willard were members of the American Legion 500 in Speedway Indiana. She was passionate about her family and her home and was happiest when taking care of it all. You could always hear her humming a song while gardening or cleaning her home. She had a natural talent for gardening, and her yard was always picture-perfect. She did crosswords every morning, and when the weather was right, she loved going shopping with her daughter and granddaughter. For special occasions, she loved going to the casinos and playing the quarter slots. Christmas was her favorite holiday. She adored babies, and doted on her grandchildren, teaching them so many things about life, even helping them learn to ride a bike and climb trees.

Her natural gift was caregiving. She was happiest doing this and was able to do for her husband until his passing, and for her granddaughter Meghan after her parents’ passing. Her laugh will be missed; she holds a special place in many hearts.

Elnora was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Willard Thomas; daughter, Robin (Downey) Rene; infant daughter, Kelly Downey; son-in-law; Michael Rene; sisters, Ginger (Dallas) Leonard, Shelby (Mario) Qualls, Jean (Harold) Ridener and June (Jesse) Earls; brothers, Robert “RS” (Paula) Combs, John Paul “Paul Johnnie” (Pat) Combs, Harrison (Margaret) Combs, Devaughn “Bonnie” (Mary) Combs and Victor (Virginia) Combs; and daughter-in-law, Kim Thomas.

She is survived by her son, Timothy (Debra) Downey; stepsons, Gary (Sandy) Thomas and Jack Thomas; granddaughters, Anne (Kurt) Rincker and Meghan Rene; grandsons, Joseph Rene and Evan (Shannell) Downey; great grandsons, Michael Rene, Noah (Brooke) Rincker, Asher Downey, David Rene and Michael (Rachel) Rincker; brother; Phillip (Leanne) Combs; and her nieces and nephews whom had a special place in her heart.

Per Elnora’s request, there will be no burial service. Instead, a Celebration of Life will be held at a later date, with the date and location being posted online. In lieu of flowers, the family would greatly appreciate contributions in Elnora’s name to the Dementia Society of America, or the Diabetes Research Institute.

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