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Sylvia (Sylva) Marie Thomas, of Colfax, passed away peacefully at Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire, WI, on December 24, 2014, surrounded by her loving family.

Sylvia was born to Martin and Selma Peterson on February 3, 1933, in the Township of Grant. She was the second youngest of eight children. She moved to California in her early twenties and lived there for several years while raising her two children and engaging in many fascinating job opportunities.

She came back home to Wisconsin in 1968, to be closer to family. Shortly after moving back, she started school at Chippewa Valley Technical College and received her two-year degree in Secretarial Science. Sylvia worked very hard while in school balancing the responsibilities of motherhood and maintaining a high grade-point average.

After graduating, she began a career at Wisconsin Public Radio and Television which lasted  over 25 years. She was well loved by her coworkers and gained many wonderful, rewarding  experiences in a place that allowed her to pursue her passion for people. Sylvia’s warm, inviting and naturally outgoing personality combined with her beautiful smile and eagerness to listen won her many hearts and friends.

Sylvia was a devoted wife, mother and grandmother, and a dear friend to countless others. She unselfishly invested her time and love, making sure others always felt encouraged and important. She had an uncanny knack for knowing the right thing to say at the right time. Her favorite pastimes always included a lively game of Zilch with family or spending a quiet evening at home with her husband, Dick, watching their favorite country music show.

Sylvia is survived by her devoted and loving husband of 42 years, Dick Thomas; children, Jim (LaVonne) Burns of Colfax and Ellen (Ron) Hurd of Eau Claire; grandchildren, Deanna Hurd, Jennifer (Josh) Bauer, Taylor (Rob) Hurd, Bryan Hurd, Jessica (Sam) Smelter, Jordan (Adrienne) Burns, Tiffany (Jesse) Acker, Justin (Missy) Acker, and Brittney Acker; great-granddaughters, Marisa and Emma Bauer, and Adelyn and Kendyl Acker; siblings, Clifford (Phyllis) Peterson and Ellen Luer; as well as many other relatives and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents; sisters, Ruth, Evelyn, and Olive; and brothers, Sigurd and Erling.

Visitation was from 3 to 7 p.m. on Monday, December 29, 2014, at Sampson Funeral Home, 1017 Railroad Avenue, Colfax. Funeral service were held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, December 30, 2014, at Holden Lutheran Church, N10065 County Road M, Colfax with Pastor Bob Schoenknecht officiating. Visitation will also be one hour prior to the service at church. Burial will be in Holden Lutheran Cemetery in Colfax.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given in Sylvia’s name to Holden Lutheran Church. Family and friends are also welcome to make donations in her honor to a couple of her favorite charities; St. Jude Children’s Hospital or Paralyzed Veterans of America.

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