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Lillian Thomas

May 1, 2012

Mrs. Lillian Thomas, 74, died Friday, April 27, 2012 in Tupelo.

Funeral services will be held 11 a.m. Thursday, May 3, 2012 at New Light United Methodist Church. Rev. John Toliver will officiate.

Burial will follow at New Light Cemetery.

Visitation will be held 2-5 p.m. Wednesday, May 2, 2012, with family hour from 5-6 p.m. at West Memorial Funeral Home in Starkville.

Mrs. Lillian Augusta High Thomas was born in Oktibbeha County Oct. 8, 1937 to the late William Magruder High and Parena Taylor High.
Lillian Graduated from Oktibbeha-Webster High School. She received a bachelor of science degree as an English major in 1959 from Mississippi Valley State University in Itta Bena and a master’s of education in guidance counseling in 1970 from Mississippi State University in Starkville.

Lillian’s career in education began shortly after graduation from Mississippi Valley State University in 1959, when she accepted employment as an English instructor at Oktibbeha-Webster High School in Maben. She later taught English at R.E. Hunt High School (Columbus), Queen Elizabeth High School (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada), Mary Holmes Junior College (West Point), Southwestern Oklahoma State University (Weatherford, Okla.) and University of Mississippi (Oxford). Lillian also served as a guidance counselor at Starkville High School (Starkville), Amanda Elry High School (Greenwood) and at West Lowndes High School (Columbus).

Lillian’s administrative roles were special assistant to the superintendent of Oktibbeha County Schools (Starkville), coordinator of academic learning center (University of Mississippi) and principal & athletic director of B.L. Moor Attendance Center (Crawford).
Lillian was an active member of the American Cancer Society, American Association of University Women, Kappa Kappa Iota, National Association for the Advancement of Color People and of the Prayer Warriors at Faith and Works Community Church.

Left to cherish her loving memories are: husband, James T. Thomas of Starkville; daughters, Shelia Alvanell Johnson of Hampton, Ga. and Audrey (Tarius) Birks of Belton, Texas; sons, William Darryl Thomas of Locust Grove, Ga. and James Terryl(Yoshiko) Thomas of Norfolk, Va.; eight grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren; brothers, Frederick Henry (Eva Pearl) High of San Antonia, Texas and William Dell High of Berkley, Fla.; sister, Marvell (James) McDowell of Jacksonville, N.C.

West Memorial Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

You may go online and sign the guest register at

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