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Memorial Service

St Luke United Methodist Church
Friday March 25th, 2022

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Ladies Parlor at St Luke
Friday March 25th, 2022
1:00pm - 2:00pm

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Berta Frances Williams Thomas

Berta Frances Williams Thomas passed away on March 3, 2022 while in residence at Parkview Health and Rehabilitation Center, Chapel Hill, NC.


Mrs. Thomas was born June 19, 1923 to parents Paul and Lydia Williams. She was a devoted mother and a loyal friend to many. Quiet by nature but whip smart, she was Valedictorian of her Sanford High School class of 1941. With that distinction came a Jr. College scholarship but World War II was raging and like so many of her generation chose to remain close to home and support her family.

She was an active member of St. Luke’s Methodist Church in Sanford where she sang in the choir for over 30 years. She was a former member of the local Business & Professional Women’s Club. Her first job out of school was with Cross and Brinn Insurance and her first job after marriage was at the Sanford Savings and Loan. When her children came along, she worked part time in the library at Greenwood Elementary School and the Lee County Board of Education. Throughout her married life she was also a valuable business partner with her husband, Harry C. Thomas, in running TopNotch Building Supply and Harry Thomas Real Estate. Mom acquired her real estate license in her 70’s and passed the state exam the first time around. She volunteered with the local Meals on Wheels program in later years. She was passionate about gardening and reading. She enjoyed spending time at the local library in search of the next good book. She was a talented seamstress and took pride in creating outfits for her three daughters. And such a fabulous cook. With a pinch of this and that, she created scrumptious dishes with ease. She will always be remembered for her unrelenting kindness and caring attitude.  She was a loyal friend to everyone who was lucky enough to know her.


She was preceded in death by her husband of 63 years, Harry C. Thomas, and sisters Blanche McBryde, Virginia Taylor, Sophia Johnson and brother Ed Williams.


She is survived by her brother Ben Williams of Moncure, NC and her children Donald E. Thomas (Anna) of Hilton Head, SC; Janice T. Engelhardt (Dave) of Durham, NC; Carol Winer (Mike) of Hopkinton, MA; Dianne Thomas of Matthews, NC and her two grandchildren Conrad Thomas, of Portland, OR and Lauren Winer of Boston, MA.  She is also survived by two grandkitties, Lincoln and Houdini.


Memorial services will be held at St. Luke United Methodist Church on Friday, March 25 at 2 pm in the chapel.  Family visitation will be held at 1 pm in the parlor prior to the service.  A private interment will follow the service at Buffalo Church Cemetery.


The family would like to thank the staff of Liberty Hospice for the love and care they showed our mother in her final months. 


In lieu of flowers, memorials can be given to St. Luke United Methodist Church 2916 Wicker Street, Sanford, NC 27330..

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Berta Frances Thomas, please visit our flower store.


It was such a pleasure to have known Berta! I always looked forward to seeing her when I came home to visit my mom! She was such a happy person! Prayers for your family!

Keely Young Mar 31 2022 9:22 PM

I never had the pleasure of meeting Berta, but from the things Janice shared with me over the years, it was abundantly evident that she was smart, kind, loving, and devoted to her family. My heart goes out to Janice and the Thomas family as you grieve the loss of your sweet mother.

Annette McDaniel Mar 24 2022 9:53 PM

It was a joy for me to know Berta and her husband Harry from 1975 until their deaths. Berta was a gracious person, and I enjoyed dealing with her at the Savings and Loan and with their businesses over the years. By being a member of the Sanford Lions Club with Harry, I got to see the fun side of them. My sympathy to their children and family.

Wilson Seymour Mar 16 2022 2:01 PM

Prayers from our "Johnson" family to all of your family. Your mother was such a sweet woman but was especially special to my mother. They were besties 'til the end. We cherish the lifelong memories and (later) phone conversations they had together.

Jo Ann Johnson Eskridge Mar 8 2022 6:49 PM

Sending love to Donald , Janice, Carol, Dianne and the family at this time. Praying for strength and peace in your hearts. May your memories of your sweet mother and grandmother comfort you all the days of your lives. I will remember Aunt Berta as most gracious, quiet spoken, kind and very loving. God be with you all, always.

Teresa Thomas Talley Mar 7 2022 12:23 PM

A candle was lit in memory of Berta Frances Thomas

Teresa Thomas Tallley Mar 7 2022 12:11 PM

So sorry to hear of the loss of Berta. She was a good neighbor and church friend. So glad we got to know her, ,

Nick & Sally Porter Mar 6 2022 3:11 PM

A candle was lit in memory of Berta Frances Thomas

Barbara Burkholder Mar 6 2022 12:24 PM

A candle was lit in memory of Berta Frances Thomas

John Oldham Mar 6 2022 12:12 PM

A candle was lit in memory of Berta Frances Thomas

Sandy Burke Mar 5 2022 10:24 PM