Barbara Janet Thomas
1937 - 2016
Barbara Janet Thomas, 78, a friend and mother to many passed away on Sunday, January 24, 2016 in Rialto, California. A celebration of her life will take place on March 5, 2016 at 3:30pm at The First Baptist Church in Santa Barbara.
Barbara was born on July 7, 1937 to Helen Eliason and Albert Terry in Santa Barbara. She lived in Santa Barbara for the better part of 60 years before moving to the Inland Empire to be close to her grandchildren in 2000. While in Santa Barbara, Barbara attended Santa Barbara High School (‘55) and took many courses at Santa Barbara City College where she pursued a degree in Cultural Studies. In 1955 she married Richard McInnis and had two children Cathleen and Richard II. In 1969 she married Theo Thomas and had a son Amahl.
Barbara spent most of her working career in the glass business, mostly as an estimator. It was through this industry that Barbara met many life-long friends and colleagues. Barbara’s biggest accomplishment however, was her willingness to help others. She was notorious for taking people in to live with her and helping them get back on their feet. She was politically active in the local Santa Barbara Tenant’s Union which fought for renters’ rights. A true champion for the underdog and for those less fortunate, Barbara unconditionally gave to those in need.
Barbara will be remembered for her giving spirit and light-hearted approach to life. She will be terribly missed by all who knew and loved her. Barbara was preceded in death by her father and mother, both of her husbands, as well as her son Richard McInnis II. She is survived by her two children, Cathleen McDearmon (Jerry) of Long Beach and Amahl Thomas (Charrma) of Fontana; her five grandchildren Apollo, Savannah, Justice, Pristine and Savior; her two sisters Jeanine Kearney of Cottonwood, California and Lorraine Bittner of Fresno, California; and many extended family and friends.
The memorial service will be held at The First Baptist Church - 949 Veronica Springs Road in Santa Barbara, California 93105.