Cover photo for Rita Diane Thomas's Obituary
Rita Diane Thomas Profile Photo

Rita Diane Thomas

April 9, 1943 — March 4, 2023


Rita Diane Thomas


Rita Diane Thomas passed away peacefully on March 4, 2023 at Parkside Homes in Hillsboro, KS. She was 79 years old.


She was born April 9, 1943. The daughter of Carl and Verna (Suffield) Hansen, she grew up on the Townsend Ranch located near Peabody, KS. She graduated from Peabody High School in 1961. She then moved to Emporia and graduated from KSTC(ESU) with a Bachelors degree in Education in 1965. Starting her elementary teaching career soon after in Strong City, KS, she then took time off to start her family. During that time, she received her Masters degree in Education from ESU in 1973. After her children were of school age, she returned to teaching at Logan Avenue Elementary school for 22 years before retiring.


She is survived by her sister Carlene and brother-in-law Carl Bedner of Emporia,KS, her daughter, Shelli R. Thomas-Snyder (David) of Wichita,KS, son Brian R. Thomas (Jennifer) of Emporia,KS. 


Rita adored and doted on her grandchildren Breanna and Ashlyn Voorhees, Kaylee, Nathan, and Jordan Thomas, and great-grandchildren JaeLeigh and RynLeigh Nettrouer and Finneas Rivard.


Because she loved all animals, memorials may be sent to the Humane Society of the Flint Hills or David Traylor Zoo care of Yazel-Megli Funeral Homes, P.O. Box 96, Marion, KS 66861.


Per her wishes, there will be no funeral services. Inurnment will be at the Claney Cemetery near Marion,KS next to her beloved parents. Please sign her online guestbook and leave a memory of Rita at


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Rita Diane Thomas, please visit our flower store.

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Private Burial

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