Washington Women's History Consortium
Women's Clubs and Organizations
Marion Thomas, President, 1970-1972
Washington State Federation of Women's Clubs
Marion Emily Thomas, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., was a former member of the Pacific Palisades (California) Woman's Club and
held offices in that club before moving to Washington. She also was a Past President of an American Legion Auxiliary unit in
California. She was a member of the Woman's Club of Spokane, the Manito Study Club and Advisor to the Tri Gamma Junior Woman's
Club. She served as President of Northeastern District. On the state level, she was First Vice-president, First Director,
Corresponding Secretary, Conservation Department and Music Division Chairman.
She was a member of the Governor's Council on Employment of the Handicapped and served as chairman of a committee which
worked to have safety reflector buttons put on Washington State Highways, a practice that was later adopted by other states.
An avid conservationist she was a former President of the Mission Avenue Garden Club of Spokane.
Upon completion of her term as State President, Mrs. Thomas moved to the Mountain View Senior Citizens Center where she
became a tour director and a member of the Mountain View Federated Woman's Club in California.
Mrs. Thomas died March 6, 1987, and was survived by two sons - Robert E. Thomas of Canoga Park and Dr. Walter E. Thomas of
Redwood City, CA, and a daughter, Patricia A. Slagaugh of Worchester, Mass.
Her administration was an eventful one, celebrating the 75th anniversary of the WSFWC in Seattle with the theme" In This Our
Time." Outstanding speakers were Mrs. Carroll E. Miller, GFWC Second Vice-president, who spoke on "Influencing Environment;"
Mrs. Sherrod B. Stuckey, Chief of the National Women's Program Air Pollution Control Office, Environmental Protection Agency,
and at the International Luncheon "Land Out of the Sea," by Hans J. vonDam, Consultate of the Netherlands.
The West Seattle Woman's Club was the state CIP winner for their efforts working with the city of West Seattle to clean up
weed-covered traffic islands in the area. At the national GFWC convention in San Antonio, Texas,
in June, they received the $10,000 Sears first place national award.
A special legislative day in Olympia was planned by Mrs. Earl Coleman, Legislative Chairman. The Governor's Assistant James
Dolliver encouraged members to write letters of concern to their legislators. Speaker of the House Mr. Swayze told them about
some of the issues that were to be voted on that day. A representative from
AWL Yakima spoke at the luncheon on the misuse of food stamps.
Members were encouraged to have special projects to encourage employment of the handicapped. The GFWC President Mrs. Earle
Brown urged members to support "balanced management" of our National Forests and work cooperatively with the Forest Service
in their efforts. During this period clubwomen were also encouraged to write to their representatives to fight pornography.
The 1972 Convention was in Spokane which was preparing for the 1974 Exposition. Dan L. Monahan spoke about the theme "How Man
can Live, Work and Play in Harmony with His Environment?" and showed slides of the buildings being prepared for the event.
Mrs. Kermit Haugen, GFWC President-elect, was the featured speaker. Betty Anne Ohrt, Dean of Women at Eastern Washington State
College, addressed the convention goers on the status of women. Her speech was entitled "Eve, You're at the Crossroads."
Mrs. Thomas wrote "From the President's Desk" column in the September issue upon becoming WSFWC President. "As we go into
our 75th year as a State Federation, we can look back on the changes that have taken place in the world that were thought
impossible, now more than ever before, we are being challenged to STOP, LOOK and LISTEN to the changing world. Let us take
an overall look at the picture of our communities and see what we can do to assist or change to make for a better environment
in health, home, education and community spirit.