Melaney Ann Thomas, 68, of Lyman, surrounded by her family, passed away unexpectedly at The Medical Center of The Rockies in Loveland, CO. Her Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10am on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 at Christ The King Catholic church in Gering with Fr. Michael Wetovick as Celebrant. Interment will follow at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Morrill. Visitation will be Monday, May 20, 2019 at Jones Mortuary in Mitchell from 12 – 5pm with a Rosary Service at 7pm at Christ The King church in Gering. Her family respectfully requests that memorials in Melaney’s honor be made in care of the WNCC Nursing Program. Online condolences may be made by viewing Melaney’s memorial page at www.jones-mortuary.com.
Her passing leaves a hole in our family and our community. Her grace, compassion and love will be missed by all. She was our rock to lean on and a beacon of light during our times of need.
Melaney was raised on the Willadsen family farm south of Lyman, Nebraska with humble beginnings of a basement home and no running water. Her favorite memory of this home is the “indoor sandbox” located in the living room.
She attended school in Huntley, Wyoming and was part of the graduating class of 1969. She then pursued her nursing degree at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, Colorado. Prior to finishing her degree, she met the love of her life, Allan Thomas at a dance in the Silver Glide Ballroom in the Lyman fire hall 1971.
They wed at Christ the King Catholic Church on July 21, 1973 and bought a home in Lyman, Nebraska where they raised a family of their own.
Melaney later became an instructor then Director of Nursing at WNCC in Scottsbluff, Nebraska obtaining her Master’s Degree along the way and earning the title of Professor Emeritus in 2015. One of her favorite aspects of teaching was seeing her students grow and change throughout the nursing program.
Melaney loved to camp and travel. She was active in the Tri-Parish Catholic Churches and enjoyed planning community and church activities as well as most of all family gatherings. In her free time, she enjoyed gardening, home repair, as well as helping family members and friends in any problem they encountered.
Melaney is survived by her mother Willa Faye Willadsen; husband Allan Thomas; brother Dana Willadsen and spouse Dianne; sisters Johnna Carey and spouse John, Holly Hatley and spouse Joe; daughters Heather Esterdahl and spouse Tim and Kristina “Krisa” Thomas; grandchildren Emily Esterdahl, Tyler Esterdahl and Cody Esterdahl as well as countless nieces, nephews and extended family which she loved with all her heart.
She was preceded in death by her father Eugene “Swede” Willadsen and son Wayne Allan Thomas.