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Published: Monday, 5/3/2004

Montpelier banker rose from bookkeeper to vice president

MONTPELIER, Ohio - Norma A. Thomas, who started out as a bookkeeper for a Montpelier bank and retired 41 years later as a vice president, died Friday at Georgeson Hospice House in Naples, Fla. She was 80.

Mrs. Thomas had been ill for years with a long list of ailments that included congestive heart failure, cancer, diabetes, and hepatitis, her son, Thomas J. Thomas, said. However, she steadfastly maintained a positive attitude and continued socializing and eating out until shortly before her death, Mr. Thomas said.

"She wanted to party to the last drop, and she pretty much did it," he said. "She was still trying to figure out a way to enjoy her life."

Her gregarious personality served her well during her long career with the National Bank of Montpelier, her son said.

"She had a lot of ideas and was always coming up with something for people to do," Mr. Thomas said. "She had a lot of leadership qualities. I just think she was a people person. She enjoyed everybody, no matter who they were."

Mrs. Thomas joined the Williams County bank in 1951 as a bookkeeper and rose through the ranks to teller, head teller and assistant cashier, assistant vice president, assistant vice president and auditor, and vice president and auditor.

She retired on Dec. 31, 1992, and began spending six to eight months a year in Florida, her son said.

During her career, Mrs. Thomas belonged to numerous organizations, including Financial Women International, the Northwest Ohio Auditors' Association, and the Williams County Historical Society. She was on the board of directors of the Montpelier Area Chamber of Commerce. Mrs. Thomas was a member of St. Paul's United Methodist Church, Montpelier.

She was born Feb. 26, 1924, in Edgerton, Ohio, to Gladys A. and Frank W. Haddix.

She graduated from Butler High School in Butler, Ind., and married Harold M. Thomas on Nov. 12, 1944, in Midland, Texas, while he was serving in the military during World War II. He died on June 17, 1992.

Mrs. Thomas is survived by a son, Thomas J. Thomas; daughter, Susan A. Thomas; five grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be from 2 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Thompson Funeral Home, Montpelier. Services will be at 11 a.m. Thursday in St. Paul's United Methodist Church.

The family suggests tributes to Georgeson Hospice House, the Williams County Cancer Society, or the church.

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