First Posted: 1/13/2014

Isabel Wescott McKeithen Thomas, 90, wife of the late James Warren (Toopie) Thomas, passed away on Jan. 6, 2014, in Pinehurst, N.C.

She was born on April 10, 1923, in Cameron, to the late Leighton and Fay Ritchie McKeithen.

She graduated from Cameron High School and received degrees from Peace College in Raleigh and Queens College in Charlotte. She accompanied husband, Toopie, to Harrisburg, Pa. where he was stationed for a short while before deployment overseas during World War II. She and Toopie lived in Cameron where Isabel was an active member and organist at the Cameron Presbyterian Church and taught school.

From 1967 until 1978, they lived in Hamlet where she served as organist of the First Presbyterian Church, worked as librarian at Fairview Heights Elementary School and was active in civic and school affairs.

Upon return to her hometown, her love of history and of Cameron inspired her to work to preserve old family buildings through their transformation into antique and collectible shops including The Greenwood Inn, McKeithen’s Store, Ferguson House and Miss Belle’s Tea Room. She continued to serve as organist at the Cameron Presbyterian Church and was active in municipal politics, serving two terms as mayor.

She wrote well-loved poems that reflect the themes important in her life from the beginning to the end: love of family, of her town and her enduring faith in God. She was a lover of people and she lived much of her life doing for others. She will be missed by many.

She is survived by two daughters, Patricia Fay Thomas, of Quebec, Canada and Merry Isabel Thomas of Cameron; grandchildren, Julianne Thomas-Drolet, Chloé Isabel Thomas-Drolet, James Warren Thomas III, Jeannie Thomas, Krissy Vick, Frank Tansky, Kim Avolis and Karen Avolis; sister-in-law, Edna McKeithen; daughter-in-law, Doris Thomas; and beloved great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her beloved son, James Warren (Tuppy) Thomas Jr. and her two brothers, Dr. Murdoch McKeithen and the Rev. Leighton Black McKeithen Jr.

A Funeral service will be held at 12 p.m. on Saturday at Cameron Presbyterian Church. Refreshments will be served in the fellowship hall following the service.

In lieu of flowers, please send gifts in Isabel’s memory to the Cameron Emergency Assistance Fund (CEF) or to the McKeithen Scholarship Fund c/o Cameron Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 68, Cameron, NC 28326 or to the charity of your choice benefiting the elderly.

Online condolences may be made at

Rogers-Pickard Funeral Home is serving the Thomas family.

Paid Obituary