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March 30, 1940 - January 18, 2014 OKLAHOMA CITY Jennie Lee Thomas, 73, of Oklahoma City, fell asleep in the Lord with open arms and sturdy legs on Saturday, January 18, 2014. Jennie was born March 30, 1940 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa to Nemer and Amelia Mrad, was "the baby" of five sisters, graduated from the University of Iowa and became an English and Social Studies teacher in Nebraska and California. She met her best friend and late husband, "Big Ed" on a blind date (which he proposed to her on), had three children, and became a Social Worker for the State of Oklahoma. In 1974, together, they opened a successful and memorable chain of restaurants known as Big Ed`s Hamburgers. In 1986, our mother was the victim of a tragic auto accident which robbed her of her mobility and speech, but never her spirit or her faith! She became an inspiration to all, proving that even from a wheelchair, `Life is fine and dandy, sweet as candy!' Family and friends were blessed anytime one of her famous handwritten notes, cards and letters were received, expressing what she was not able to speak. She gifted her family with an autobiography entitled "Keep Walkin", again proving her faith and offering words of inspiration and encouragement. She loved reading her Bible every day, loved her church, her friends and family, puzzles, games and Saturday matinees! Her beautiful spirit rolls on with her 3 children, 4 grandchildren, 3 surviving sisters, and more nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts, uncles and beloved friends than can be expressed. Jennie is survived by her son, Ed and his children Forrest and Laurel, daughter, Nicole, daughter, Danielle and her husband Virgel and their children Brendan and Carter, and her sisters, Blanche Zakaib, Kay Thomassen and Ruth Hashim. Dancing together as you read this are Jennie and Big Ed, while Aunt Jo, Grandma and Jiddo dance beside eternally. Visitation is scheduled for Friday, January 24th, from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at Smith & Kernke Funeral Home at 14624 N. May Ave. Funeral services will be Saturday, January 25th. at 10:30 a.m. at St. Elijah Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church at 15000 N. May Ave. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Elijah's Flowers That Do Not Wither Fund.

Published in The Oklahoman on Jan. 22, 2014
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