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Mary L. (Walter) Thomas

February 1, 2018
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Mary L. (Walter) Thomas passed away on February 1st at Good Shepherd Village in Endwell, NY, having just recently celebrated her 100th birthday.

Known for her pink hats and quick wit, Mary’s memory for names and places was excellent, always stopping to talk to someone she knew when she was out and about at Wegmans, the mall, or one of her favorite restaurants. She was very skilled in sewing, dressmaking, and baking, and countless friends enjoyed her cookies and other homemade goodies. Her love for God and personal relationship with her savior kept her encouraged to do her best each day; she was a mother to all with whom she met weekly in her nondenominational Christian family.

Mary was born in Honesdale, PA, on December 22, 1917. She graduated from Honesdale High School in 1935 and happily worked in a secretarial position with Olver Insurance Agency in Honesdale. In 1943 she moved to Endicott and was initially hired at IBM to do defense work in the war effort and was soon promoted to a secretarial position, trusted to handle communication between the company’s top executives.

Howard Thomas did engineering work at IBM before joining the US Air Force and serving as a photographer in Panama. When he returned to his former position at IBM, Mary and Howard met and fell in love. They shared many of the same interests and hobbies, particularly world travel, photography, and private flying; both had their own pilot’s licenses. They were married in Binghamton on June 30, 1950.

Mary and Howard made their home on Oak Hill Road in Binghamton. It reflected their interest in all kinds of wildlife, with an attractive water lily pond on the edge of their two acres. They watched foxes, squirrels, and other animals that lived in the woods behind their home.

Forty of their 59 years together were spent traveling the world. They visited many countries, often by freighter, preferring to travel off the beaten track. Mary crafted detailed writeups of each trip to share with others, along with lots of slides.

Howard predeceased her, as did her parents and siblings. Her parents were Carrie (Eddy) Walter and Friend Walter. She had a sister, Olive Walter, and brothers, Franklin and Lee Walter. Her remaining relatives are a niece, Jane (Walter) Gowe (NM), and nephews, Keith Walter and Norman Walter (CA). She also has many great nieces, nephews, cousins, and a host of friends throughout the world.

There will be a memorial service for Mary on Saturday, February 10, 2018, at Hopler & Eschbach Funeral Home, 483 Chenango Street, Binghamton. Visiting time for family and friends will be from 1 to 2pm, with the service starting at 2. In the spring, her cremains will be buried next to Howard’s in the Walter family plot at Bethany Cemetery in Bethany, PA.


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