Knitting 01

Mary Ellen Thomas

February 28, 1930 ~ March 1, 2020 (age 90)


Mary Ellen (Bartlett) Thomas was granted her angel wings on March 1, 2020 at the age of 90, surrounded by her loving husband and family. Mary Ellen was born February 28, 1930, in Lima, Ohio, to her late parents, Ruth (Blooser) and Earl Bartlett.

A 1948 graduate of Van Wert High School, Mary Ellen married her high school sweetheart, Don Gene Thomas on April 15, 1951. Together they had five wonderful children: Kevin (Deb Hire) Thomas of Van Wert; Rodney Thomas, who is deceased; Kay (Jim) Carter of Fort Wayne; Ronda (Marc Flores) Thomas of Los Angeles; Jan (Todd Plummer) Osenbaugh of Lima. Mary Ellen enjoyed spending time with her 7 grandchildren: Brian Thomas, Dara (John) Bennett, Jade Osenbaugh, Jason Osenbaugh, Kim (Dane) Brandt-Lubart, Max Earl, Ava Flores and 5 great-grandchildren.

Mary Ellen was a homemaker turned jail house matron when her husband became sheriff of Van Wert County in 1968. Once retired, Don and Mary Ellen enjoyed yearly snow birding to Phoenix, Arizona.

Mary Ellen actively enjoyed attending her yearly high school reunions. She was known for the costumes she had made for the Van Wert Civic Theater and was an active member of the Van Wert Women's Club, the American Legion Women's Auxiliary as well as the VFW Auxiliary. Mary Ellen enjoyed attending lunch with her friends at Hearth and Home. In her free time, she enjoyed watching the birds out her kitchen window with her husband.

In addition to her parents and son, Mary Ellen was preceded in death by a brother Kenneth Bartlett, and a sister Diane Baer Stuart.

Funeral service will be held at 2:00 PM, Friday, March 6, 2020 at Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home. Interment will follow in Woodland Cemetery.

The family will receive friends from 5 to 8 PM on Thursday, March 5, 2020 and prior to the service from 1 to 2 PM on Friday at the funeral home.

Preferred memorials may be made to the Niswonger Performing Arts Center.

To share in Mary Ellen's online memorial, please visit

Arrangements entrusted to Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home, 722 S. Washington Street, Van Wert, OH 45891.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Mary Ellen Thomas, please visit our floral store.


March 5, 2020

5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home
722 S. Washington St.
Van Wert, OH 45891

March 6, 2020

2:00 PM
Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home
722 S. Washington St.
Van Wert, OH 45891

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