Obituary for Dr. Penny Ann Lightholder Thomas
Age 69, passed away on Saturday, August 6, 2016 after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. She left this world peacefully, surrounded by her close family at home in Southpointe. Penny was a beautiful, smart, strong, and caring woman who modeled love and kindness for many.
Penny was born on July 14, 1947 in Pittsburgh to the late Richard and Julia Lightholder. She is survived by her loving spouse, Dick Thomas, with whom she shared 44 years of marriage. She is also survived by her three sons: Britton Thomas and his wife, Jen of Denver, CO; Bradley Thomas and his wife, Mahshad Kamali of Los Gatos, CA; and Barrett Thomas and his wife, Erin of Mt. Lebanon, PA; three grandchildren: Lily, Aiden, and Blake; and her sister, Carrilee Hemington and her husband, John of McMurray.
Penny was a graduate of Peters Township High School and did her undergraduate work at the University of Pittsburgh. In 1972, she received her doctorate from the Pennsylvania College of Optometry; additionally, Penny and Dick married and moved to New York where Penny began practicing optometry for the State University of New York. They later moved to Pittsburgh where Penny opened her own practice and worked the balance of her 40-year career. In addition to having a private practice in Peters Township, Penny was the Director of Low Vision Services at Pittsburgh Vision Services for many years and once participated in a mission trip to Haiti to provide eye exams and eyewear.
Penny was active in the community, having served on the Board of Directors of the Peters Township Chamber of Commerce and of South Hills Business and Professional Women. She was a member of the American Optometric Association as well as state and local optometric societies, and she was a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry. She was a member and past Trustee for Trinity Methodist Church and Charter Member and Past President of WOMEN of Southwestern PA. Also, Penny volunteered with Meals on Wheels of Peters Township in her retirement.
Penny, an avid dancer, was a member of the Pittsburgh Area Jitterbug Club and the Steel City Boogie Club. She and Dick took lessons at Arthur Murray for many years. Also, she enjoyed skiing, biking, hiking, country dancing, hitting the gym, and snowshoeing in Colorado, living part-time in Frisco. Penny’s favorite activity was babysitting her grandchildren. Additionally, she loved traveling, particularly to visit her children and grandchildren.
Funeral arrangements by BEINHAUERS, 724-941-3211. Friends are welcome at 2828 Washington Road, McMurray on Friday from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. Everyone Please meet for Services at Trinity Methodist Church, 530 Center Church Road, McMurray on Saturday at 11 a.m. Interment in Forest Lawn Gardens, 3739 Washington Road, McMurray will follow. Please add and view tributes at www.beinhauer.com.