Leonne Thole (January 01, 1942 - January 23, 2019)

In loving memory of
Leonne Thole
  • January 01, 1942
  • -
  • January 23, 2019

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Obituary

Léonne M. Thole

“Lee”

1/1/42 – 1/23/19

Léonne M. Thole passed into our Lord’s hands quietly on Wednesday evening, January 23, 2019, with her husband and children surrounding her. Léonne was a caring wife, a loving mother, a dedicated grandmother, and a delighted great-grandmother. Those who knew her will remember her for her openness- in heart, spirit, and mind.

Léonne “Lee” was born in St. Anne, Manitoba, Canada and emigrated with her French-speaking family to the United States, before becoming a citizen at age 13.  Although she barely spoke a word of English, Lee graduated with her class from North High School, Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1959.  After receiving her diploma, Lee began working at Dayton’s Department Store, first in a sales position and later as a fashion model. In the early 1960s, Lee met the love of her life, Gerald “Jerry” Thole, through some mutual friends. They married within 18 months of their first meeting. Among her many accomplishments, Lee was a devoted wife and a proud steward of her 57-year marriage. In addition to her four children, Chuck, Rich, Michelle, and Kristin, Lee is the grandmother of Jessika, Bennet, Nicholas, Samantha, Christopher, Briana, Erin and Richie, and the great-grandmother of Annessa, Ethan, Dalton, and Christopher. She is pre-deceased by her son Rich, her grandson Christopher and granddaughter, Jessika.

Lee was small in stature but giant in spirit. While raising their four children, Lee and Jerry moved eleven times within the four corners of the United States, yet no matter the location, Lee’s home became the regular gathering place for all who knew her.  Lee was who you called when you wanted to celebrate life’s accomplishments, yet she was also the one to provide a soft landing during its inevitable challenges. “Just come on over,” her grandchildren remember her saying, even at 2 am. In addition to these wide-open doors, Lee maintained an open mind. She found the bright side in any person or circumstance. Lee would often say, “We need to walk the walk, not just talk the talk.”  She was committed to not only finding the bright side, but also living it. Her husband, Jerry, characterized her last months as, “living in hope, believing in miracles.”

In her last weeks, Lee had a continuing message to her family, it was to stick together, be a team, and be good to one another.  She was the most loyal person to her family and friends one could ever meet.  She was an advocate to all people, and found good in everyone.  As her sister-in-law wrote recently, “Together, Léonne and I laughed until we cried and cried until we laughed.”  Indeed, many who knew her shared the same sentiment.

Her capacity to love, feel, and share, coupled with her commitment to optimism are Lee Thole’s legacies– she taught them, and she shared them with anyone who asked.  Lee never claimed to have the right answers, but was dedicated to helping a person find the right answer within themselves. In this way, she will live on in the hearts of all who knew and loved her.

We will have a celebration of her life on February 13, 2019 at 1:30pm at Annunciation Catholic Church1020 Montgomery Rd, Altamonte Springs, FL 32714.  Reception with light refreshments to immediately follow. 

In lieu of flowers, should friends desire, contributions may be sent to a memorial fund where the family will build a permanent structure in Léonne’s honor.

https://www.gofundme.com/leonne-thole-memorial-fund&rcid=r01-154955504859-66b07fd3d9a541ae&pc=ot_co_campmgmt_w

 


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  1. Debbie Arnold says:
    13 Feb 2019
    This is the last voicemail that Lee left to me shortly before she passed. She knew that I was going through a difficult time in my life. Here are her compassionate words verbatim - "Hi Debbie, this is Lee. I was checking to see how things were going. Prayers are being said. I pray to God that everything is going to be okay. I"m sending you some strength. I don't have a lot left but what I've got you can have, alright (she giggled). You hold your head up and stay strong and I'm thinking about you, okay. Love to all." That's who Lee was! From the day I first met her at Rich's graveside on the 9th anniversary of his passing, to the last time I saw her shortly before she herself passed, that's who she was; completely selfless, noble, generous and brave. For most of the short six years that I knew Lee, she was (quietly) battling the illness that ultimately took her life. In my eyes she remained so peaceful and serene; quite heroic. Lee's personality and characteristics were much like my own mom's. I told her this many times and her response was that she would always be there for me and she would follow-up with, "I mean it". That's just who she was. She will be present forever in my heart! Blessings to the entire Thole family.

  2. Aoife King says:
    13 Feb 2019
    So glad I got to hang with Lee on a trip to see my lovely friend Kristin in 2017. Sparkliest eyes ever and such wonderful company. She will be so missed but we are all so grateful to have met and known her. To all the Thole family, I send my prayers, love and most heartfelt sympathies. Vivre Léonne! Shine on Léonne!

  3. Amber Plourde says:
    12 Feb 2019
    The first time that I met Mrs. Thole was at a 70's themed party more than 20 years ago. She was dressed in cowgirl attire that I believe she wore in the 70's (always had a great figure). Mrs. Thole had a special twinkle in her eye, and a lot of spunk! I remember being impressed that she had a lot of her family there, and how close the Thole Clan was (and of course still is). Since that time many years ago, I always looked forward to visiting with the Tholes. Mrs. Thole had a way of making you feel special, and wanted to hear all about how your life was going when we talked. In fact, she reminded me of my mother, which I would often tell her. That sparkle was still there even in her last days. She will be missed by me and my family, but her legacy lives on in all that she has done for others. I love you Mrs. Thole!

  4. Dave lit a candle:
    12 Feb 2019
    Lit since February 12, 2019 at 2:43:18 PM

  5. Dave says:
    12 Feb 2019
    You’ve been such an inspiration to all of us and have been a friend and confidant to so many. A wonderful mom, wife, grandma. Aunt and friend.
    Now youre home with Rich and everlasting life with Jesus

  6. Kelly Dellinger lit a candle:
    12 Feb 2019
    Lit since February 12, 2019 at 2:54:21 PM

  7. Kelly Dellinger says:
    12 Feb 2019
    Lee always welcomed us into her home with open arms...and we were a seriously wild bunch in high school! Thank you for letting us gather and laugh together under your roof. Sending hugs, love and light from Colorado to you and to your beautiful family in this incredibly difficult time.

  8. John says:
    12 Feb 2019
    Lee you were like a second mother. Also took care of all of your children’s friends with open arms. An amazing mother of many. Not just your immediate family.
    Your laughter and kindness will be missed.
    Say hey to rich and Christopher. Live you.

  9. John lit a candle:
    12 Feb 2019
    Lit since February 12, 2019 at 2:39:57 PM

  10. Colin Regan says:
    11 Feb 2019
    To all the Thole family, my thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. The Lee I briefly met all those years ago was the kind, funny, and insightful. The legacy she leaves behind comes as no surprise and I hope in this time of great loss it enables you all to celebrate a life well lived.

  11. Greg Palombi says:
    11 Feb 2019
    The Thole"s house was always where we wanted to be in high school and in no small part because of Lee (I still think Mrs. Thole). Always ready with a kind word and a quick wise-crack she is the perfect embodiment of the Thole family I love so much. She will be missed but also celebrated. Her legacy is vast. Love to all who are able to be there this week.

  12. Larry and Judy says:
    11 Feb 2019
    Always in our hearts! Our deepest sympathy to the family! She will be missed.

  13. Sharon says:
    10 Feb 2019
    Rest now, dear friend, you’re home.
    Jerry & family, may you find consolation in your memories and in the grace of God’s love.

  14. Linda Houck says:
    10 Feb 2019
    My heart aches with all of you❤️I am very sorry I cannot make the service but want you to know what a very special ladyshe was who will be missed by many but will never be forgotten. I will cherish the memories and hold them close to my heart. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Hugs and kisses ❤️XOXO
    Love, Linda

  15. Barbara Pantuso says:
    09 Feb 2019
    You lit up the world, Lee. Your laughter filled the room. Your kindness warmed it. You made everyone feel welcome, including your daughter's rebellious teenage friends (of which I was one). You were my first boss at Edibles Etc. showing me the ropes in the food service business that would later become a big part of my career. I wore your necklace at my wedding. You stood by me when my father passed away. And I'm just on the outskirts of your circle of love. For those close in, you were their rock. Their cheerleader. Their guiding light. That light lives on in the hearts and minds of all you loved you, Lee. Rest in peace.

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