Suzanne Irene Thomason, age 66, of Terry passed away on Sunday, June 2, 2019 at the Prairie Community Hospital in Terry.
Suzanne was the only daughter born to E.C. “Tommy” and Lillie Dolatta Thomason on May 3, 1953, right in the middle of four closely spaced brothers. She enjoyed an outdoor life, especially on horseback, with plenty of companionship for adventures, animals and many chores. Suzanne’s infant baptism in the Catholic faith was part of the dedication of the new Sacred Heart Terry Parish. Baptisms held a special role forever after as she was active in sharing in her catholic faith. She was the first female lector in the diocese when that task opened up to women.
Family folklore tells that Suzanne came home from the first day of first grade and promptly read everything in the house. This was the start of a lifetime enjoyment of books and stories. Wherever she lived, Suzanne had a large collection of library cards. For many years she conducted children’s story hours at the library, the summer reading program, and the varied displays at the library and adult reading club. As editor of her senior class yearbook, she left an award-winning legacy for future generations. When the 1974 Prairie County History book was becoming dated, Suzanne organized, collected stories and photos, and published a sequel. In 2012, she encouraged the Terry High School 100 years of graduating classes part and in 2015, she was part of the Prairie County Centennial Celebration organizers. For decades she volunteered at the Prairie County Museum and Cameron Gallery. The Murn Park Pool was a special interest.
4-H was an important part of Suzanne’s life. She thrived in leadership, safety and a variety of projects and liked to say she went to college on her bum lambs. Music and dancing filled in Suzanne’s life. She was student director in high school, conducted the Community Christmas Cantata some years and organized and led the Silver Bells Chimes group. She was a square dancer.
Growing up years were blatant with discrimination and Suzanne endured twelve years of Terry Schools, eventually graduating with dishonor because math, science and music were not “for girls”. She journeyed to Bozeman to study medical technology, graduated with honors and received the prime internship opportunity with Duckworth Pathology Group in Memphis, Tennessee where she was employed for years specializing in transfusion medicine. Eventually Suzanne returned to Terry, Montana and provided laboratory services for her local friends and family.
In college she began a lifetime hobby in sign language. She worked as a Family Support Specialist serving families with high needs or at-risk children. A Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Special Education from Minot State University complemented this task.
Suzanne was preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by a daughter Meris (Tim) Greges; a son Argan “Sam” Johnson; a grandson Tyler Greges; four brothers and numerous nieces and nephews.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, July 19, 2019 at 11:00 a.m at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Terry. Rite of Committal will follow in the Prairie County Cemetery. Condolences to the family may be sent by visiting www.stevensonandsons.com.
Should friends desire, memorials may be made to the Prairie Benefits Foundation or the charity of one’s choice.