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Estella Virginia Wendell Thomas
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Birth: Dec. 21, 1885
Ohio County
West Virginia, USA
Death: Feb. 6, 1970
Oakland County
Michigan, USA

While all nine of her siblings were born in Pennsylvania, Estella was born across the state line in Wheeling, West Virginia. Her mother, Mary Catherine (Betts) Wendell, was staying with her older sister, Catherine Elizabeth "Lizzie" (Betz) Nist, at the time at 226 29th Street, long the home of Lizzie's descendants.

After Bernard Wendell moved his family from Pittsburgh to Butler County, Pennsylvania, both he and daughter Estella worked at the U.S. Postal Office in Lyndora, where the family resided, just outside the city of Butler.

Estella Virginia Wendell and Albert Michael Thomas were married on 30 Nov 1916. The wedding took place "at the home of the bride's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Barney Wendell, ex-postmaster of Lyndora, at ten o'clock Thursday morning. The ceremony was performed by Rev. B. F. Rhoads, Pastor of the First Methodist Church, in the presence of the immediate families. After an eastern wedding trip Mr. and Mrs. Thomas will be at home to their many friends in Parker, where Mr. Thomas is engaged in the drug business."

"Dr. A. M. Thomas, aged forty-six years, well known pharmacist, died Monday at his home in Parker [Armstrong County, Pennsylvania], where he had lived for the past six years and conducted a drug store." Later "Mrs. Estella Thomas has disposed of her interest in the Parker Drug Co. to her partner, Mr. S. M. Turk, and will leave the first of the week for Butler where she expects to make her future home."

But Estella may not have stayed long in Butler. In 1930 she was a housekeeper for a widowed dentist and his two adult sons in neighboring Clarion County, known to be the residence of her sister Edna (Wendell) Nolf. And by 1940 Estella was living with another sister and brother-in-law, Elsie and Nick Paunovich, at 6157 Fischer avenue in Detroit. The Fischer avenue residence had been the home of her parents Barney and Mary Wendell prior to their deaths in 1931 and 1933. Some thought that Estella may have helped her parents acquire the family residence at 6157 Fischer on Detroit's east side.

Estella had had no children during her 6-year marriage to Albert, during which she likely worked with him at his newly established pharmacy. She did not remarry, but resided, unobtrusively, with members of the Wendell family in Detroit and environs during her remaining years, spelled by occasional visits to sister Edna Nolf who had remained in Pennsylvania.

Four years after being feted at a family gathering to celebrate her 80th birthday, "Aunt Stell" died of carcinoma of the pancreas of six months duration complicated by diabetes mellitus. As in life, her body lies unobtrusively, sans a gravestone, in a small Wendell family plot at the back of Forest Lawn Cemetery in Detroit.

NOTE: Quoted material is from several unsourced newspaper clippings taped to the inside of Estella's keepsake wedding booklet. (privately held)

Sandra A. Studebaker, grand niece
Family links: 
  Bernard Wendell (1853 - 1931)
  Mary Catherine Betts Wendell (1864 - 1933)
  Albert Michael Thomas (1876 - 1922)
  Harry Bernard Wendell (1883 - 1932)*
  Estella Virginia Wendell Thomas (1885 - 1970)
  Edna Grace Wendell Nolf (1888 - 1969)*
  Walter Gray Wendell (1890 - 1960)*
  Leah Wendell (1893 - 1896)*
  Elsie Anna Wendell Paunovich (1895 - 1943)*
  Alma Marie Wendell Garber (1897 - 1920)*
  Helen Wendell Buchanan (1903 - 1989)*
*Calculated relationship
No individual gravestone; part of six-grave plot containing Wendell family monument.
Forest Lawn Cemetery
Wayne County
Michigan, USA
Plot: Section 34, Lot 186
Created by: Sandra Studebaker
Record added: Aug 09, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 115190199
Estella Virginia <i>Wendell</i> Thomas
Added by: Sandra Studebaker
Estella Virginia <i>Wendell</i> Thomas
Added by: Sandra Studebaker
Estella Virginia <i>Wendell</i> Thomas
Cemetery Photo
Added by: frenchy
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