Margaret Lavinia Wilding Thomas
08/04/1924 - 02/09/2020
Our beloved mother, Margaret Lavinia Wilding Thomas, passed away surrounded by her family on Sunday, February 9, at her home in Holladay, Utah. Margaret was born in Sugar City, Idaho, to John Henry Wilding and Lavinia (Dolly) Walker. Her parents owned a farm and raised potatoes. While working on the family farm, she learned skills or hard work and dedication, traits she carried throughout her life.
Margaret attended the University of Utah and certified to become a registered nurse. At the end of World War II, she was a nurse cadet at the naval hospital in Oakland, California. She finished her bachelor’s degree at the University of Washington then took a job in surgery at the Utah Valley Hospital in Provo. While in Provo, she met her future husband, Boyd R. Thomas. They were married September 10, 1948 in the Salt Lake Temple and moved east for Boyd to attend law school at Columbia University in New York City. It was there that their oldest child, Janet (magazine editor), was born. Upon graduation, they moved to Idaho Falls, Idaho, where Boyd started a law practice and the couple had five more children: David (who followed in his father’s footsteps and became an attorney), Nancy, (a realtor), Evan (an exercise physiologist), Blair (a computer consultant), and Paula (who followed in her mother’s footsteps and became a nurse).
Margaret and Boyd enjoyed living in Idaho where they often took their children camping and tried out nearly every outdoor activity available to them. To the surprise of many, Margaret loved the speed of a jet ski or snowmobile as she enjoyed being outdoors. She raised beautiful vegetable and flower gardens and was especially fond of roses. All her life, her particular gift was her ability to make continuing and lifelong friends. She never stopped being interested in getting to know people.
Margaret worked as a nurse until her children were in school or college. She went back to school to earn her master’s degree in education and briefly taught junior high English. She became a nursing instructor for 20 years at Ricks College (currently BYU-Idaho). Margaret loved the gospel and served as stake and ward Young Women president, several times in Relief Society presidencies, and most teaching callings. Boyd served as a bishop and stake president. He was elected as district judge and served for over 20 years. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and eventually passed away from complications of that disease just as they were selling their home to move to Salt Lake City to be closer to family. After her move, Margaret served as a church service missionary for 15 years for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
She is survived by her brother, Dean Wilding (Ann); children: Janet Thomas; David (Kim) Thomas; Nancy (Bard) Davies; Evan (Janie) Thomas; Blair (Pam) Thomas; Paula Weed. She has 21 grandchildren and 37 great-grandchildren.
The funeral will be held at the Cottonwood 5th Ward chapel at 5913 South Highland Drive in Holladay, Utah, on Saturday, February 15, at 12 noon. A viewing will precede the funeral services at 10:30 a.m. Interment will be on Monday, February 17, at 11:00 a.m. in Idaho Falls, Idaho, in the Ammon City Cemetery.