CROFTON — Leona L. Thunker, 90, of Gainesville, Va., died Friday, Nov. 5, 2010, at Gainesville Health and Rehab Center.
Services will be Thursday at 10:30 a.m. at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church here with burial in the parish cemetery and the Rev. Michael Schmitz officiating. Visitation will be 4-8 p.m. Wednesday with a vigil service at 7 p.m. at Wintz Funeral Home and continue after 9:30 a.m. Thursday.
Leona Loretta Thunker was born on July 25, 1920, in Crofton to John and Carolina (Luft) Arens and lived in the Crofton area most of her life. For four years before her marriage, she lived and worked in Yankton, S.D, doing house work.
She married Raymond Thunker on Jan. 14, 1942. They farmed for six years in rural Crofton before moving to town in 1948. She worked at Buckholt’s Cafe, People’s Grocery, the Crofton Library and the Gambles store in Crofton and was the bookkeeper for Ray’s Occo and Dekalb businesses. She also worked for Gurney’s Customer Service Department in Yankton for 17 years.
Leona was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1963. She was told by two doctors that they would make her as comfortable as possible for the little time she had left, but she outlived both of them. She was proud to participate as a cancer survivor in Relay for Life every year and was once a guest speaker.
She was well known throughout the area for baking and decorating many creative wedding, anniversary, graduation and birthday cakes. She enjoyed cooking for family and friends as well as sewing and crocheting. She loved traveling with her husband while he was alive but later traveled alone. She was able to visit almost every state and enjoyed trips to Europe. The last trip she made by herself was to England at the age of 86.
Leona loved socializing with her friends at the Crofton Senior Center and was an avid bingo player. She loved to shop and was a proud bargain-finder. She was a member of St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Crofton, Christian Mothers and Catholic Daughters of America and attended Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Gainesville.
She is survived by her son, Robert (Sandy) Thunker, Gainesville; her grandchildren, Tiffany (Matt) Linville, San Antonio, Texas, and Jeremy (Julie) Thunker, Portland, Ore.; two great-grandchildren, Emily and Leah Thunker, Portland; two sisters, Viola Reifenrath, Crofton, and Eleanor (Sam) Nelson, St. Helena; three brothers, Irvin Arens, Randolph, Gerald Arens, Hartington, and Alvin (Sharon) Arens, Norfolk; two sisters-in-law, Arlene Arens and Margaret Arens, both of Crofton, and a multitude of nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; an infant brother, Benjamin; her sister, Cecilia Reifenrath; her brothers, Ray Arens, Clarence Arens, Lawrence Arens and Harold Arens; her sisters-in-law, Barbara Arens, MaryAnn Arens, Frances Arens and Norma Jean Arens; her brothers-in-law, Norbert Reifenrath and Albert Reifenrath, and several nieces and nephews.
Pallbearers will be Brian Arens, David Arens, Larry Arens, Rick Arens, Doug Nelson, Gordon Reifenrath, Mick Reifenrath, Jeremy Thunker.
Honorary pallbearers will be Lorene Ausdemore, Charlene Kube, Rosemary Lange, Virgie Lange, Laverta Mauch, Nelly Potts, Linda Sawatzke, Mary Thunker.