Alyce Priscilla (DeWitt) Thomas, 91, wife of “Bill” (William) Glenn Thomas and daughter of Alice Angeline Scott and Harry Gardner DeWitt, passed away Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014, at her home in Cadbury at Lewes.
Alyce was born Sept. 29, 1922, in Scranton, Pa., the first child of her parents’ new marriage (both parents having children from their previous marriages). Toward the end of the Great Depression, the family moved out to the country in Waverly, Pa., where she met and fell in love with her high school sweetheart Bill Thomas.
After graduating from Waverly High School, Bill enlisted in the Navy and Alyce enrolled in the Hahnemann Hospital School of Nursing. Her studies were cut short in the middle of her senior year when her mother unexpectedly passed away while sitting in the garden. Alyce returned home to take care of her father and help out with the family.
During the labor shortages caused by World War II, Alyce went to work for Western Electric making piston rings for B-29 bombers and lip microphones, having graduated from Civil Defense School in Clarks Summit, PA and attained classification as First Class Mechanic.
Alyce and Bill were married March 23, 1946, at Asbury Methodist Church in Scranton. Over a 20-year Navy career, they raised a family of four children moving from base to base, then added one more child after retiring from military life and settling in Rockville, Md.
In Rockville, Alyce led Girls Scout Troop 2106 for six years and became a certified backpack trainer for the Washington Area Council (over her life, Alyce hiked much of the Appalachian Trail, “Old Rag” in the Shenandoah Valley, various trails in Rocky Mountain National Park, part of the Continental Divide in Colorado, and select trails of the Canadian Rockies outside of Banff). In 1969, Alyce became a teacher at Millian Memorial Methodist Pre-School, where she continued to teach for 30 years, finally retiring at the age of 77 (and then only due to failing eye-sight caused by macular degeneration).
For the last two years, Alyce has been enjoying the retired life at Cadbury at Lewes, a continuing care retirement community just north of Rehoboth Beach.
Alyce was preceded in death by her husband Bill; her daughter “Scotty” (Alyce Scott Thomas) Bishop; her brothers Bob and Selton Stevens, and “Butch” (Harry Jr.) and Dann DeWitt; and her sister Barbara (DeWitt) Parker. She is survived by her sister Dot (DeWitt) Mackie; children Pat, Tom and wife Linda, David, and Kenneth; and son-in-law Nick Bishop. Alyce also leaves grandchildren David, Daniel, BJ, Joy, Julie, Joshua, Jordan, Jacob, Jeremiah, and Maia, as well as great-grandchildren Emma, Owen, and Gabe.
Services will be held in April, as follows: Rockville, Thursday, April 3, at 2 p.m., at Millian Memorial United Methodist Church followed by a reception; Waverly, Pa., Saturday April 5 (time to be announced) at Waverly United Methodist Church followed by interment of ashes at Hickory Grove Cemetery and reception.
Donations can be made to: Millian Preschool, Millian Memorial Methodist Church, 13016 Parkland Drive, Rockville, MD 20853 In memo: In honor of Alyce Thomas.
Arrangements by Parsell Funeral Homes & Crematorium, 16961 Kings Highway, Lewes.