Betty R (Ritchie) ThomasDecember 9, 1925 ~ January 2, 2018 (age 92)
Betty R. Thomas, 92, of Elkhart passed away at home on Tuesday, January 2, 2018.
Betty was born on December 9, 1925 in Evansville, IN to the late Alexander B. and Jane (Cook) Ritchie. Her youth was spent between Evansville and Palm Beach, FL.
She eloped with Paul Thomas on January 25, 1945 while both were students at Indiana University in Bloomington.
Betty and Paul had four children: Brian Thomas of Elkhart, Bruce (Connie) Thomas of Owensboro, KY, Jenny (Bryan) Williams of Aurora, CO and Amy Thomas of Bloomington, IN. They also have eight grandchildren, seven great grandchildren and four great great grandchildren. Betty is also survived by a brother, Dr. William (Muriel) Ritchie of Evansville. She was preceded in death by a brother, Robert C. Ritchie and a daughter-in-law, Mary Thomas.
Betty graduated from Reitz High School in 1942 and from Indiana University in 1946. While at I.U., she was a member of the Chi Omega sorority, director of the Junior class and received an Indiana Scholarship ring. She was also a member of the Alpha Lambda Delta, National Scholastic Fraternity.
After moving to Elkhart in 1948, she became a well-known golfer winning numerous championships including; Four Lakes Women’s Champion, Elk’s Women Champion (15 times) Women’s County Champion (3 times) and the Indiana Senior Women’s Champion (2 times). She was the co-founder of Paul Thomas Shoes and served as the treasurer for 50 years. She then co-founded the “Time Was Museum”. Betty also served as a substitute teacher, was a member of the Elkhart General Hospital Auxiliary, a charter member of the board of directors for the Oak Hills Golf Course and was a past president of the Four Lakes Women’s Golf Association and also the Elk’s Women’s Golf Association. She was a member of the Indiana Women’s Senior Golf Association and a past president of the St. Joseph Valley Golf Association. A former member of the Trinity United Methodist Church and the Women’s Circle at Trinity. Betty was also a member of the Indiana University Alumni Association and served on the Catherine Wolf Girl’s High School award committee. Betty was a proud record holder in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the lowest number of putts (20) for a woman in a round of golf.
Visitation for Betty will be held on Saturday, January 6, 2018 from 3 until 6 at the Hartzler-Gutermuth-Inman Funeral Home. Private family services will follow. At Betty’s request, cremation will take place.