Phyllis Irena Hoyle Palmer Thomas
WOONSOCKET- Phyllis Irena Hoyle Palmer Thomas died on August 1, 2013.
She was born on December 15, 1919, in Ware, MA to John Sawyer Hoyle and Irene Coughlin Hoyle.
She leaves a son, Jonathan A. Thomas, and a daughter-in-law, Angel Dean, of Providence. A brother, Lester S. Hoyle, died during 1972 in Phoenix, AZ.
Mrs. Thomas was married in 1941 to the late Charles H. Palmer, and in 1952 to the late Alton Pickering Thomas, MD. She was a 1937 graduate of Woonsocket High School, and received a BS in Journalism from Boston University in 1941.
In the late 1930s she conducted dance classes in North Smithfield and Blackstone schools. She was treasurer for many years of the Woonsocket Photo Engraving Co. She was a member of the city's Citizens' Advisory Board, and president of the Globe Park PTA. She was also president of the Woonsocket Garden Club and Woonsocket Beautification Committee, and was instrumental in planting the city's squares and traffic islands. As a founder of the Woonsocket Conservation Commission, she fought for the preservation of parks and conservation areas, and furthered this role in the RI Association of Conservation Commissioners, the State Resource Committee and Development Project, and the State Council of Community Services.
Mrs. Thomas was a founder of the Animal Protective Association of Woonsocket, and saw to the establishment of a temporary shelter at a time when the city lacked permanent facilities.
She directed the Woonsocket Historical and Preservation Society and led the effort to save St. Ann's Gymnasium. She also belonged to the Woonsocket Opera House Society, which became the Northern Rhode Island Council of the Arts, on which she served as treasurer for many years. Memberships also included the Woonsocket Centennial Committee, the Governor Pothier Committee, the Cooperative Extension Service of URI, the Save Our Stadium Theatre Committee, the Mass. Archaeological Society, and the BU Alumni Association.
She was inducted into the Woonsocket Hall of Fame and received the Kiwanis Citizen of the Year Award. A park on Diamond Hill Road was named in her honor in 1995.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to: The Woonsocket Historical Society or The Museum of Work and Culture both located at 42 Main St., Woonsocket, RI 02895. Holt Funeral Home, 510 So. Main St., Woonsocket, will host calling hours on Monday from 5-7 PM, and a funeral service on Tuesday at 11AM. Burial will follow in North Burial Ground, Providence.
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