Carol Elaine Thomas

                    June 17, 1956  -  June 14, 2011

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Life Legacy


Carol Thomas, 54, died Tuesday, June 14, 2011 at home under Hospice Care in Brookings after a long, determined fight with brain cancer.

Funeral services are at 10:30 am Saturday, June 18, 2011 at First Lutheran Church, Brookings. Burial will follow at Greenwood Cemetery, Brookings. Visitation is from 4-7 pm Friday at Morningside Community Church in Brookings, SD (2120 3rd Street) with a Prayer Service at 7 pm at Morningside Community Church. All friends and family are invited to this service. Rude’s Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

Carol Elaine Hilton was born on June 17, 1956 in Monterey Park, Ca. to Darrell and Lois (Brandenburg) Hilton. She attended school in Monterey Park, Wagner and Mitchell, SD. She received her teaching degree at the University of South Dakota and later obtained her Masters of Arts in Technology from Augustana College. She taught school at Mitchell, Sioux Falls, Watertown and Brookings for 30 years. She retired from teaching in June of this year.

On June 15, 1984 she married Gary L. Thomas in Mitchell. They lived in Sioux Falls, Watertown and Brookings together for 27 wonderful years. She was a member of Morningside Community Church, Chi Omega, the South Dakota Education Association and the National Education Association. Carol taught in public schools and also Sunday school until her health prohibited those experiences. She directed Vacation Bible School at Morningside Church for two years.

Carol loved teaching, raising her children, playing bananagrams, bird watching, walking with friends, creating bulletin boards for school and working in her yard. She is a charter member of Watertown’s “Ice Cream Club”, a cancer support group. Carol earned Outstanding Young Women of America in 1986. Carol was also named Outstanding Young Educator in 1983. In her teaching career she received Teacher of Year Awards at schools in Mitchell, Sioux Falls, Watertown and Brookings.

She is survived by her husband, Gary of Brookings, SD; her children, Joshua and Jenna, both of Brookings, SD; her parents, Lois and Darrell Hilton of Mitchell, SD; her sisters, Teresa (Jim) Byrnes of Renner, SD, Michele (Kurt) Kittleson of Scottsdale, AZ; her brothers, Mark (Shari) Hilton of Apopka, FL, Harry Hilton of Mitchell, SD, Jerry (Kellie) Hilton of Mitchell, SD and Rick Hilton of Brandon, SD and many nieces and nephews whom she loved dearly.

Carol was preceded in death by her grandparents Harry and Marie Brandenburg, Edgar and Vera Hilton and a niece Jessi Miiller.

Memorials may be directed to either the Watertown or Brookings FCA huddles or for a Brookings High School scholarship.




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Born: June 17, 1956

Place of Birth: Monterey Park, CA

Death: June 14, 2011

Place of Death: Brookings, SD 57006

Occupation: Teacher


This memorial provided by:
Rude's Funeral Home