Margaret Mary Thomas

February 19, 1957 ~ March 21, 2024 (age 67) 67 Years Old

Margaret Thomas Obituary

Margaret Mary (Bowling) Thomas, daughter of James H. Bowling and Mary L. Bowling, passed away on March 21, 2024, in Niceville, Florida after a prolonged chronic illness. Margaret, better known by her nickname Peggy, was born on February 19, 1957, in Bardstown, Kentucky. She was predeceased by her youngest sibling Marietta Lynn Bowling. Peggy is survived by her husband of 45 years John P. Thomas, Jr., sister Louise Annette Bottoms and her husband Dale, brother Thomas E. Bowling, sister-in-law Lynne Thomas and her husband Michael Zachariah, daughter Christine Marie Anderson and her husband Jeremy Anderson, and son Michael Powers Thomas. She is also survived by three grandchildren, Elizabeth, Hollie and Penelope, all daughters of Christine, as well as her two nieces Leah and Sara (daughters of sister-in-law Lynne) and two nephews Alexander and Benjamin (sons of her sister Annette). She is also survived by numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins from her parents’ families, as well as John’s cousin Patrick Andrew Thomas and daughter Caroline.

Peggy’s father was a senior Air Force NCO, so her childhood was spent on or near Air Force installations. Their final assignment was at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio, and Peggy graduated from Greenon High School in the local area. She then began her first career as an Air Force civil servant, working in the Fighter Attack SPO of the Aeronautical Systems Division of Wright-Patt. That’s where she met her future husband John (then a 2nd Lieutenant) in the most unromantic setting imaginable, the basement cafeteria of Building 16 in Area B. They soon began dating and participated in an Old West barroom skit as part of the base’s Spring Fling. Peggy was a dance hall girl and John was a cowpoke. It is rumored that John surprised the commanding general participating in the skit by smashing a whisky bottle over the general’s head. Fortunately, the bottle was a prop made of sugar and not glass, so John still had a shot at an Air Force career.

Shortly after Peggy and John were engaged, Peggy completed her associate degree at Sinclair Community College. The couple was married at Mary Help of Christians Catholic Church in Fairborn, Ohio. Peggy’s husband was selected by the Air Force to pursue a doctoral program at Carnegie-Mellon University, so off to Pittsburgh they went. Peggy soon found a civil service position at the 911 Tactical Airlift Group while John was in graduate school. While still in Pittsburgh their first child Michael was born.

Their next assignment was in the DC area, where their daughter Christine was born. While in DC they were able to enjoy the fabulous cherry blossoms, national landmarks and museums, and excursions to the Pennsylvania Dutch County and elsewhere. They then spent six months in Monterey California, where Peggy and John learned German to prepare for a two-year stint in Germany living in Braunschweig amongst the German community there. While there they were able to witness history firsthand and saw the fall of the Berlin Wall. They made many trips to such locales as Mozart’s hometown of Salzburg, Austria and the cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris. 

After returning from Germany, they lived in Bellbrook, Ohio near Wright-Patt, and after some refresher courses Peggy secured a job working as a medical transcriptionist for a doctors’ practice in nearby Kettering, Ohio. 

Her husband’s final Air Force assignment was at Eglin Air Force Base, where they traded the white snow of Ohio for the sugar white sandy beaches of the Florida panhandle. Peggy’s experience enabled her to quickly land a position at White-Wilson Medical Center. After working in their in-house department for several years, Peggy then became an independent contractor doing medical transcription for several medical practices in the area.

After her husband retired from the Air Force, Peggy was instrumental in finding her husband a job in the private sector. She was sitting in a nail salon next to the wife of another retired Air Force officer who had served with her husband at Eglin. They soon struck up a conversation, and Peggy learned that they were looking for a senior engineer to join the new firm they had started. So, Peggy “unretired” John and got him a job with them, where he still works more than sixteen years later.

Peggy and John went on several memorable anniversary trips. They visited Hawaii on their 25th anniversary, took a cruise to Venice and the Greek islands on their 30th anniversary, and went on an Alaska cruise on their 40th. They also went to Egypt and saw the Great Pyramids at Giza, the Valley of the Kings in Luxor, and the treasures of King Tut at the Cairo Museum.

Peggy enjoyed her monthly Bunco games with the fun-loving group of ladies called the Bunco Babes.

After retiring from her medical transcription work Peggy came to relish more each year her most cherished role of her life, that of Nana to her granddaughters. She was the heart and soul of her family, and her parting has left a void that will be hard to fill.

Peggy’s memorial service will take place on Wednesday, April 3, 2024 at 2:00PM at Heritage Gardens Funeral Home in Niceville, Florida. Those who wish to remember Peggy can either send flowers to the Funeral Home, or make a charitable donation to the COPD Foundation (

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Memorial Service
April 3, 2024

2:00 PM
Heritage Gardens Funeral Home
2201 Partin Drive N
Niceville, FL 32578


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