Frieda Siegel Thomas

Frieda (Siegel) Thomas died on Monday, July 25, 2016 at Schuyler Ridge Residential Health Care in Clifton Park, NY. She was born June 2, 1922 in Brooklyn, NY, the middle child of Lillian (Lesser) and Max Siegel. She was married to the late Arthur Thomas who predeceased her in 1995. For 47 years, Frieda and Art were Danbury, CT residents.

Frieda attended Brooklyn public schools and worked in Manhattan as a secretary following her high school graduation. When she was 17 years old, a friend dared her to enter a beauty pageant. Frieda took the challenge, entered the competition and won the title of “Miss Brooklyn” at the 1939 Worlds’ Fair. She continued her education after her youngest child entered elementary school and earned an Associate degree in Library Science from Western Connecticut State College.

Frieda enlisted in the Women’s Army Corps during WWII and was stationed in London and Paris. She worked as a secretary for the Judge Advocate General’s Corp and while she was on assignment in Paris, she met Arthur Thomas, a fellow Brooklynite and a Captain in the Army Dental Corps. In 1947, when he returned from a tour in the Pacific, Frieda married Dr. Arthur Thomas. They lived in Quincy, MA while Art attended Tufts University Graduate School of Dentistry before moving to Danbury in 1951 to establish his orthodontics practice where Frieda occasionally assisted in his office.

Frieda was a homemaker who volunteered her time as a Brownie Scout troop leader, PTA member, and at Danbury Hospital. She was a member of the United Jewish Center’s Sisterhood and was dedicated to Hadassah serving the organization in many capacities, most significantly as President of the Danbury Chapter. In later years, she transferred her membership to the Framingham-Natick Chapter of Hadassah when her oldest daughter became a Co-President.

Frieda and Art were golfers and in later years, spent winters in Delray Beach, FL. Frieda’s interests were varied and she enjoyed gardening, quilting, playing bridge and Scrabble, and entertaining. A New York City girl, Frieda liked to attend cultural events in Manhattan and happily introduced her daughters and then, her granddaughters to ballet, theater and museums. Frieda and Art traveled extensively and when it wasn’t their final destination, frequently detoured via England to visit their middle daughter and her family. Most of all, she treasured the time with her seven granddaughters and liked to quote her husband who, when asked if he and Frieda would like a grandson said, “No. We specialize in girls!” In 2000, she moved to Saratoga Springs, NY to live near her youngest daughter and her family.

Frieda Thomas is survived by her daughters and sons-in-law: Marsha Thomas Cymerman and Allen Cymerman of Framingham, MA, Sheila and Martin Litman of Nottingham, England and Hollywood, FL, and Amy Thomas and John Kaczanowicz of Ballston Spa, NY. Frieda also leaves behind her beloved 7 granddaughters, 4 great grandchildren, her sister, and several nieces and nephews.

Graveside funeral services and burial will take place on Thursday at 2 p.m. in the United Jewish Center Cemetery, Gray’s Bridge Road, Brookfield with Rabbi Stefan Tiwy of the United Jewish Center of Danbury officiating.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Framingham-Natick Chapter of Hadassah in care of Ellen Herbordt, 29 Aqueduct Road, Wayland, MA 01778 and Temple Sinai, 509 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866.

A Period of Mourning (Shiva) will be observed and the dates and times will be announced.
Jowdy-Kane Funeral Home, 9-11 Granville Ave., Danbury is in charge of arrangements.

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