In Loving Memory of Alice Y. Thomas
WOMAN OF EXCELLENCE, ALICE Y. THOMAS, M.S.W.
At an early age, baptized in Kansas City, Missouri, at the Second Baptist Church, Alice Yvonne Lowery would grow to become a gifted, compassionate, Christian professional. In her 91 years, Alice married Frank Thomas (1948) and set up roots here in Seattle, Washington, becoming a life-long member of the Mount Zion Baptist Church (1949). On September 28, 2022 Alice passed away of natural causes leaving a grieving family: Jon Thomas, son, Jon Jr, and Paradise Thomas, their grandchildren and her sister Doris Stevens, together with numerous nieces, nephews and grandnieces and nephews.
The Celebration of Life for Alice Thomas will take place on October 28, 2022 at Mt. Zion Baptist Church at 11:00 am, with Felicia Curry singing. The repast will follow at Holgate Street Church of Christ, 2600 S. Holgate St, Seattle, WA 98144.
Among Alice Thomas’ many accomplishments, as a graduate of the University of Washington School of Social Work and pioneering in local government, she served as the Family Court Supervisor for the Superior Court for King County, its first African American Woman in court management. For approximately thirty years, after leaving the court, Thomas provided psychological services in her private practice, and on a sliding scale, to include a broad patient community.
Thomas’ career was complemented by life-long missionary service at her church, under multiple ministers, most prominently Reverend Samuel Berry McKinney, Ph.D. As a professional and a mother with a young son, she reared Jon within the church, as she was also on the Executive Board of the Mt. Zion Preschool in its golden years. As chair of the Constitution and By Laws Committee, she demonstrated her steadfast belief in the democratic process as the means of church member decision-making. A founding member and first Chair of the Harriet Tubman Circle, Alice Thomas was “chosen” by Mother Mable, another Mt. Zion Women’s Ministry icon; an honor she repaid with 73 years of devout service to Women’s Ministries.
Widely popular were the team of Mamie Smith (d.) and Alice Thomas who volunteered, for decades, to take professional photographs of the events of the historic church. Thus, they are primarily responsible for the collection of archival church history; the many albums they published to commemorate church anniversaries added to the stature of Mt. Zion Baptist Church and its social political influence within the local African American community. Trusted implicitly, Alice Thomas served as a Board member of the Northwest Federal Credit under direction of Robert Coleman.
Singing, her joy, Alice Thomas became a member of two church choirs, the Women's Chorus and the Sanctuary Choir, directed by Reverend Frank Byrdwell. With annual visits to Hampton University, she participated in a national “Mass Choir,” during the “Ministers Weekend.” She successfully enlisted Harriet Tubman Circle members, Doris Hickman and Elma Horton to join the annual treks and the Mass Choir, for which she was quite proud.
Travel, her passion, began with never missing a family reunion, for both she and her husband’s family throughout the United States. And, with Reverend McKinney and his devoted wife, Louise Jones McKinney, Alice traveled to the Holy Land, was baptized in the Jordan River, and spoke of this milestone on many occasions. Annual trips to Hampton University in Virginia, enriched her vast intellect by exposure to nationally recognized ministers who also traveled there to preach to a nationwide audience. Marie Brooks, a lifelong friend, and Harriet Tubman Circle member, recalls Alice fondly with their trip on a cruise through the Panama Canal, visiting both Central and South America; Alice always inquisitive and adventuresome.
Grounding Alice Thomas' spiritual life, for over thirty year, she engaged in weekly Bible study with Bible Study Fellowship International (BSF).
Remembering Alice Y. Thomas with a favorite quote: “God grant me the strength to continue to run the race set before me.”