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G Jeanette Thomas

Died: 3/21/2011

Mrs. G. Jeanette Reese Ayars Thomas, age 73, of Newark, DE, and Betterton, MD, died on Monday, March 21, 2011, at Chester River Hospital in Chestertown, MD.

Jeanette was born in Wilmington in 1938, daughter of the late Daniel Reese and Gertrude Dawson Reese. A 1956 graduate of P.S. DuPont High School, she attended the University of Delaware, but withdrew in 1957 to raise her family. She returned to the university curriculum in 1980 and graduated in 1984 with a double major in psychology and sociology.

Throughout her career, Jeanette worked in the mental health field, specializing in services to recovering mental health clients. She was the past executive director of the Self Help and Rehabilitation program for the Cecil County area. Later she accepted the position of executive director of the Alliance for the Mentally Ill in Delaware and coordinated advocacy projects throughout the state. She retired from the Delaware State Hospital as a psychiatric social worker.

Active in her community, Jeanette served as the secretary of the New Castle County Suburban Hospital Task Force, which was instrumental in the site selection process for the Christiana Hospital campus. She was the past president of the Returning Adult Student Association at the University of Delaware and past president of the Newark Republican Womens Club. She was also a fundraising representative for the American Cancer Society for many years, an active member of the Newark Kiwanis Club, a member of the local Jaycees and past president of the Delaware Jaycees Women, and a Life Member of the Newark Historical Society.

She is survived by her beloved husband of 12 years, Robert O. Thomas, Sr.; sons, Daniel Ayars (Milissa) of Wilmington, O. Kent Ayars (companion, Debbie Hammond) of Millsboro, Glenn Ayars of Panama City, FL, and Brian Ayars of Middletown; stepson, Robert O. Thomas, Jr. of Newark; and grandchildren, William Ayars, Matthew Ayars, Lea Ayars, and Kate Ayars.

A celebration of Jeanettes life will be held at 1 pm on Saturday, March 26th, at Bentleys Banquet Hall, 902 East Pulaski Highway, Elkton, MD 21921.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Red Clay Creek Presbyterian Church, 500 McKennans Church Road, Wilmington, DE 19808.

To sign guest book, visit SPICER-MULLIKIN FUNERAL HOMES & CREMATORY 302-328-2213

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