Mary Grace Thomas was born on January 9, 1915 and passed away on Friday, February 11, 2011. She was born Mary Grace Jordon born January 9, 1915, in Monticello, Ga., the daughter of Samuel and Sallie Glover Jordan.
She married Taylor Thomas in Indianapolis; he preceded her in death on November 13, 1988. She was a resident of Urbana, Illinois. She attended Urbana schools. She was a member of Bethel A.M.E. Church and is buried in Mt. Hope Cemetery, Champaign.
She was a member of the Champaign County African American History Committee, and wrote articles for its Through the Years newsletter series on African-American athletes at the University of Illinois.
Her relatives include nieces and nephews, Betty Lathem, Mary Anna Ross, Jennie Howard, Cloanne McKeever, Herman Jordan and Debbie Cooper; her goddaughter, Shannon Meares; special friends Henry and Paula Meares; cousins Gene Suggs and Marian Cullers; a host of other family and friends; and her home caregivers for the last 13 years of her life, Terri Miller and Irene Miller.
She was preceded in death by her parents and five brothers, Harry Jordan, Sandy Jordan, Herman Jordan, Grady Jordan, and Samuel Jordan.
Mrs. Thomas worked as a secretary for Chanute Air Force Base. She attended Urbana schools and went to the University of Illinois before marrying her husband. She was a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. Gamma Chapter Class of 1938 and founder of Graduate Chapter Alpha Kappa Alpha and was a former President of the Chapters. She was a member of the Illini Sports Groups, Rebounders, the Quarterback Club, the UI Alumni Association and many community and civic groups.
She and her husband, Taylor, were world travelers. Mrs. Thomas had been a member of the Bethel AME Church in Champaign since moving to Urbana. She sang in the choir for many years and was a member of the Missionary Society and Willing Workers, and was very active in the church activities.