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Obituary for Natalie Thomas
Natalie (Dickinson) (Valiton) (Aho) Thomas, 94, of Leominster, MA died January 3, 2018 at the Community Hospice House in Merrimack, NH following a period of declining health. She was born in Melrose, MA, the daughter of the late Donald I. Dickinson and Lois (Brown) Dickinson. She is survived by her husband, Rickard A. Thomas of West Palm Beach, Florida, her daughter, Elaine (Valiton) Carroll of Milford, NH, her brother and sister-in-law, Dana and Geraldine Dickinson of Meredith, NH, her grandsons, Devin Carroll of Philadelphia, PA and Shane Carroll of Milford, NH, her nephews, Clifford Dickinson of Meredith, NH and Mark Dickinson of Plymouth, NH, and her niece, Virginia McIntosh of Bonita Springs, Florida. She is also survived by the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren of the Thomas and Aho families, whom she cherished. She was pre-deceased by her first husband, Burton S. Valiton in 1972 and her second husband, Aarne Aho in 1998, her step-son, Kenneth Aho, and nephew Stanley B. MacPhadden.
Natalie grew up in North Leominster, surrounded by many of her Brown cousins. She graduated from Leominster High School and Stevens Business School. She was a successful realtor for more than 30 years, first working for H.S. Brown Realty and later for Foster-Healey Real Estate. Natalie was a 70 year member of Rollstone Congregational Church in Fitchburg, helping in the nursery, serving on the flower committee and as a Deaconess, and actively participating in the women’s group, Phi Alpha, and the Couples Club. She had many hobbies and interests, mastering them all. She was a very competitive bridge player, playing with the same group of women for more than 40 years. She knit sweaters, sewed clothing, decorated wedding cakes, made tooled leather handbags, upholstered furniture, did decorative painting and stenciling, baked wonderful goodies, enjoyed gardening, and once rehabilitated a squirrel she named Friskie.
She was a wonderful, caring mother who always put her daughter first. She adored being a grandmother and was actively involved in her grandsons’ lives, attending school events, innumerable soccer games, 4H fairs, and any other event in which they had a role. We were thrilled when she decided to move north in June 2017 and only wish we could have had more time with her. She will be sorely missed.
Her memorial service will be held Thursday, January 11th at 11 AM at Rollstone Congregational Church, 199 Main Street, Fitchburg, MA. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial donations be made to the Rollstone Church Building Fund, 199 Main Street, Fitchburg, MA 01420 or to Community Hospice House c/o Home Health & Hospice Care, 7 Executive Park Drive, Merrimack, NH 03054