(1911 – 2002)
Sarah L. Thomas was the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from the Alabama Extension Home Economist Association, an award which she always cherished. It meant that her peers throughout the state recognized her hard work with the home demonstration program in Etowah County. Her EFNEP program was considered one of the best in the state. As the county home demonstration agent, Mrs. Thomas took great pride when the area homemakers and their families accomplished tasks which she had taught them.
Sarah Thomas made her mark in many ways, but first and foremost she is remembered as being one of the most caring people around the county and around the office. Her coworkers say she took much delight in cooking and sharing her work with others. She also shared her compassion, becoming like family to her fellow office workers. They say she was always there during the good times as well as the bad times. Sarah Thomas indeed left her mark on Etowah County, and the families of those she touched will always remember her.
A native of Wadley, Alabama, Sarah Lankford Thomas attended Southern Union College and received a B.S. degree in Home Economics from Auburn University in 1944. She began her career as Home Supervisor with the Farmers Home Administration in Henry and Tallapoosa counties from 1944 through 1947. Her Extension career as Home Demonstration Agent and County Agent in Etowah County began on September 16, 1947, and extended for thirty years.
During her career, Mrs. Thomas was also active in her community. She was a member and officer in the Gadsden Business and Professionals Club, the Community Service Council, and the Etowah County Visiting Nurses Association. Her extracurricular activities were indicative of her giving nature — giving of her talents, her expertise, her free time. She was a member of and involved in activities of the Christ Central United Methodist Church in Gadsden. She also spent many hours working with different senior citizens’ groups.
In tribute to her life and work, the name of a special lifetime member of Epsilon Sigma Phi, Sarah L. Thomas, is inscribed on the dedicatory plaque of the Extension Memorial Chapel.
Chapel Plaque Inscription Number: 440