STRUTHERS, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Elizabeth Ann “Lee Bee” Thomas, 91, died Monday evening, April 20, 2020 of COVID-19 at Masternick Memorial Health Care Center in New Middletown.
Elizabeth, affectionately known by many as “Lee Bee” was born July 4, 1928 in Youngstown, a daughter of Oreste and Margaret (Pickle) Franceschelli.
A lifelong resident of Struthers, Elizabeth attended Struthers High School and then worked various jobs, including at General Electric and Fish Dry Cleaner.
On August 11, 1951, she married the boy next door and her first love, Daniel L. Thomas, Sr. and became a dedicated homemaker, wife and mother. Together they made a home in Struthers, where they raised their three sons and were blessed with 59 years of marriage, until his passing on June 3, 2011.
Lee Bee centered her life around family and created a home that was comfortable and inviting. Talented in the kitchen, she loved to share her cooking and baking with family and friends and her kitchen was often filled with the wonderful aroma of her famous apple strudel, chocolate cake and lasagna. Every Sunday was spent sharing a family meal together at 2:00 p.m., complete with her famous spaghetti sauce and hand-tossed salad!
Very present and involved in her sons’ activities as children, she was a member of the Lyon Plat School PTA, where she was a room parent and stamp lady. Lee Bee was also very active in her grandsons’ lives and never missed any of their school or sporting events.
She was also a member of the Italian Mother’s Club and the Christian Mother’s Club.
A longtime member of Christ Our Savior Parish at St. Nicholas Roman Catholic Church, Lee Bee was active in its Altar & Rosary Society and volunteered her time working in the church’s kitchen for Wednesday night bingo.
Some of her favorite pastimes included meeting with the Coke Alley Girls each month for lunch at Belleria, cheering on her New York Yankees and she always looked forward to watching the annual Struthers July 4th parade go past her son Danny’s house where she celebrated her birthday.
She is survived by her sons, Danny (Michele) Thomas, Jr., Michael Thomas and Rick Thomas, all of Struthers; four grandsons, Dan (Amanda) Thomas III of Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, Dylan Thomas and Matt Thomas, both of Struthers and Rick (Michael) Thomas, Jr. of St. Petersburg, Florida; two sisters-in-law, Jean Centofanti of Poland and Margaret (Richard) Holmes of Youngstown and a host of special nieces and nephews that she loved dearly.
In addition to her parents and husband, Lee Bee was preceded in death by brothers, Anthony Centofanti, Elserd Franceschelli and Mario Franceschelli and sisters, Antoinette Moretti, Mary Reichert and Phyllis Tenuta.
Lee Bee always wanted a band and the New York Yankees to be present for her funeral but that won’t be possible this year! Due to the current situation with COVID-19, a private service will be held for the family and entombment will be at St. John the Baptist Catholic Cemetery.
The family would like to express their deep appreciation and thank the entire staff of Masternick Memorial Health Care Center, especially her niece, Erma, Johneen, Michelle, Steve and “Peaches,” for the wonderful care given to Lee Bee over the past several years.
Memorial tributes may take the form of contributions in Mrs. Thomas’ name to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.
Arrangements are being handled by the Cunningham-Becker Funeral Home, Poland Chapel. Please visit www.beckerobits.com to send condolences.
To plant a tree in memory of Elizabeth A. “Lee Bee” Thomas, please visit our tribute store.
A television tribute will air Friday, April 24, at the following approximate times: 7:10 a.m. on FOX, 12:22 p.m. on WKBN, 5:08 p.m. on MyYTV and 7:27 p.m. on WYTV.