Linda Sale Thomas, 72, of Ronda, passed away peacefully Dec. 29, 2020, surrounded by her loving family. She was the only daughter of Fred A. and Nelle Morrison Sale. She graduated from Elkin High School, attended Guilford College and graduated from Appalachian State with a degree in English.
Before graduating from college, mom married her high school sweetheart, Steve, and family life began. After finishing at Appalachian, the family returned to Elkin to sow their roots and begin their lifelong commitment to the family and community that she loved. In her early years, mom shared her talents through cross stitching. Much of her touch was spread throughout our home on throw pillows, Christmas ornaments and wall hangings, but it was also shared outside our home, as for years mom had a booth at the Christmas Bazaar at the Elkin Armory.
Mom established her heart in her church community as well. She was a longtime member of Maple Springs UMC in Ronda, where she faithfully shared her musical talents and leadership abilities. Mom served on countless committees, seeking always to share the love of Christ through the many ministries to which she was a part of; however, her passions were the music and the children’s ministry. As children, we were blessed to grow up under the guidance of vacation Bible schools and children’s musicals, such as “Down by the Creekbank” and “Bullfrogs and Butterflies,” where we were given confidence and learned valuable lessons of serving Christ by loving and sharing with others. Later in her music ministry, mom shared her gifts as the pianist and choir director. Mom passionately led the joint choir concerts that were enjoyed by the communities of Maple Springs and Charity UMC every spring and Christmas. She was also heavily invested in the performances of the Living Last Supper that were performed every other year on Maundy Thursday. In her later years as the children’s ministry began to grow again at Maple Springs, mom again revived several of those earlier programs we grew up with many years ago, sharing time and loving Christ through another generation of children. Throughout Mom’s many years of service through the church, mom formed lifelong friendships that continued to blossom throughout and beyond her illness. Mom loved and cherished her church family.
In other areas of the community, mom’s presence was also felt. For many years, she taught kindergarten through the Pleasant Hill Daycare program. Later in life, mom worked a few hours a week at the family business, W.E. Sale and Sons, but she also engaged once again with the love of children by working with the literacy program through Elkin City Schools. Mom enjoyed her time working in each of these capacities, and she spoke often of the relationships she formed at all of these places but especially in the literacy program. In addition, mom delighted in singing with The Community Chorus. Christmas was her favorite time of year, and she looked forward to reconnecting with the music and the other choir members each fall.
For all of the love mom showed to our church and community, her heart belonged to her family. Mom invested heavily in her kids, serving as a Tee-Ball coach, Cub Scout den mother, cheerleading coach, PTA member and band parent in our youth. However, as we grew older, she continued to be a lifelong cheerleader for each of us. She worked hard to get the family together for beach trips and holidays where she always provided more food than we could possibly eat. To her grandchildren Rett, Ty, Abby, Matthew, Benjamin and Lucy, she was known not only as Mimi but also as a master cookie maker. Mimi did everything she could to be a part of her grandchildren’s lives by being present at ballgames and recitals, writing notes in Christmas and birthday books, decorating the egg tree each Easter, keeping her grandkids here in Elkin, and visiting her grandkids both in Georgia and in Randleman as much as she possibly could. Mom worked extremely hard all her life to give her family a balanced life of sharing Christ through the home and community. Mom loved spending time with people she loved. In her final days, a special craft hung above her bed which said “Live in such a way that those who know you but don’t know God, will come to know God because they know you…” This is a lesson she shared with us all our lives, representing a life well lived.
Mom was preceded in death by her parents, Fred A. and Nelle Morrison Sale.
Surviving are her husband of 51 years, Steve, of their home in Ronda; children, Travis (Candy) Thomas of Carrollton, Ga., Ryan (Reu) Thomas of Elkin and Meghan (Brent) Gray of Randleman; and grandchildren, Rett and Ty Thomas of Carrollton, Ga., Abby, Matthew and Benjamin Thomas of Elkin and Lucy Gray of Randleman; and several cousins.
A graveside service was conducted at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021 conducted by Rev. Marc Werner at Maple Springs United Methodist Church cemetery in Ronda. A celebration of life service will be held at a later date.
The family thanks everyone for their thoughts and prayers, Dr. Thomas Grote and his staff, Mountain Valley Hospice, Yadkin Valley Home Health and the many family friends and our church family that assisted our family during this difficult time. The family suggests that any memorials be made to Maple Springs United Methodist Church, Mountain Valley Hospice or the charity of the donor’s choice.
Online condolences may be made at www.jkennedyfsl.com.