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Linda Jean McElroy Thomas
January 22, 1957 ~ November 3, 2023 (age 66) 66 Years Old
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Linda Jean McElroy Thomas, 66 of Somerset, PA, died November 3, 2023 at her home. She was born 1-22-57 in Frankfurt, Germany. She is the daughter of the late James H. McElroy and Rhoda R. Hargrave. Survived by her husband, Robert E. Thomas, siblings, David J. McElroy, Sherry L. (Dan) Carson, Donna L. (Jamie) Hoch, daughters, Flor Hernandez and Khadija E. Karoodi, step-Sons: Alvin L. Thomas, Esq. and Arthur D. Thomas, M.D., and 11 grandchildren and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews and extended family. Linda was the oldest daughter of four children, of a Military Warrant Officer and his wife, Rhoda (Ambrosia) Hargrave. She lived in Germany, Taiwan and numerous states due to military service. She attended 9 schools before graduating from Mt. Vernon HS in Alexandria, VA in 1975. She went on to graduate from George Mason University in Fairfax, VA with a BA in Psychology in 1985. After serving as Youth Director and Camp Counselor at Caroline Furnace Lutheran Church Camp she served as a Youth Staffer for the Southeastern Synod of the LCA, visited congregations in Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and Georgia. She was commissioned a Lay Worker in the ALC and following the ELCA merger in 1988, served as an Associate in Ministry at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Alexandria, VA for a total of 14 years. Unable to have children, she became a Foster Parent in the Emergency Foster Program in Alexandria, welcoming 5 young women into her home over several years, some through the courts and others, informally. Of those young women, two have become daughters, Flor and Khadija. During this time, she served as a Chaplain at Alexandria Hospital and took classes at the Washington Consortium of Seminaries, including 2 Catholic Seminaries, Howard Divinity, Virginia Theological Seminary and Wesley Theological Seminary. She completed her Seminary education with an M.Div. from Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, PA in 2001. Linda served as an ELCA Ordained Minister at Christ Lutheran Church in Johnstown, PA (2001-2004) and at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Somerset, PA (2004-2019). During these years she also served on the Board of the Lutheran Seminary at Gettysburg, she worked on Ecumenical and Interfaith relations by offering programs of mutual conversation between congregational members of different faith traditions. She served as the Secretary for the Somerset Area Ministerium for many years, a volunteer chaplain at the Hospital and as an organizer/supporter in several community organizations dedicated to the care of creation, human justice, immigration, interfaith relations and support for LGBTQIA persons. Linda enjoyed reading, gardening and creating conversation groups that lead to changes in hearts and minds, especially in faith development and personal growth. She has been a loving granddaughter, daughter, wife, mom and grandmother, who was also a supporter of the arts (especially visual arts) and took special joy in caring for creation. Her theme in sermons and in life has been, "We are Blessed to be a Blessing." Linda had the ability to make beautiful things out of the obstacles life put in her path. The family expresses its gratitude to Windber Hospice and their skilled and caring staff. There will be no viewing. Linda donated her body for scientific medical research. There will be a memorial service held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating blood and platelets; making a financial donation to Camp Sequanota (PO Box 145, Jennerstown, PA 15547) or Windber Hospice (600 Somerset Ave., Windber, PA 15963). Arrangements by the Hauger-Zeigler Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Somerset. To leave a condolence please visit www.haugerzeigler.com