Mary Ellen Thibodeau passed to her heavenly Father on Saturday, October 22, 2022. Born seventh of 13 children in Stephens City, Virginia on August 24, 1934, to James Warden and Rokie Jenkins.
Loving wife of nearly 65 years to Leo Thomas Thibodeau (deceased); proud and loving mother to seven children: Theresa R. Thibodeau, Robert L. Thibodeau (Lynne), Joseph E. Thibodeau (Debra), Michelle R. Kaihara (Gary), Mark A. Thibodeau (Gail), Daniel T. Thibodeau (Melissa) and Patricia A. Vanegas (Juan); loving and very proud grandmother to Katie Savoie (Eric Savoie), Elyse (deceased), Cameron M. Kaihara (Morgan), Christen E. Loy (Michael), Jordan K. Kaihara, Adrian E. Hernandez, Sarah M. Jespersen, Carolyn M. Thibodeau, Tyler K. Kaihara, Jacob P. Thibodeau, Jonathan T. Thibodeau, Abigail C. Martin (Shane), Christopher Thibodeau, Lee T. Thibodeau, Elizabeth N. Thibodeau, James A. (Alex) Thibodeau, Kimberly A. Thibodeau, Mateo A. Vanegas, Mason R. Thibodeau, Olivia I. Clark and Naida L. Clark; and a very proud great grandmother to Clementine Savoie, Liam K. Kaihara, William Issac Loy, Micheal Joseph Loy, Abram Savoie and Mitsuye "Miko" Mae Kaihara. She is survived by her sisters Patricia Armstrong and Janice Hall, brothers Delmar and Gary Jenkins, and many nieces, nephews and great, and great-great nieces and nephews.
Mary's early life in Stephens City was living on a sustenance farm where she helped raise her brothers and sisters. She graduated from James Wood High School in 1952 and moved to Northern Virginia. While attending a USO dance, she met her future husband, Leo. They instantly hit it off! They married at St Mary’s Catholic Church in Alexandria VA in 1956 and settled in Bethesda MD and Arlington VA before Leo built their own home in Falls Church, the very home that Mary cared for and raised their seven children.
Mary’s greatest life joy was being a partner to her husband, Leo, and a mother to their seven children. With Mary’s support, Leo opened his own contracting business and Mary’s role was to assist with communication. Her husband often chuckled that Mary’s gift was to deliver a firm message in the gentlest fashion. Mary encouraged each of her children to follow their dreams and will be remembered for always supporting their individual choices. All her children went on to serve their communities, churches, and families, which brought Mary immense joy.
The greatest gift Mary gave each day was her laughter. She would always find something to have a nice laugh about, especially with her sister, Janice, who was by her side through thick and thin. Mary loved children and adored visits with her children, grandchildren, and recently great-grandchildren. It brought her immense joy to see everyone. Mary also had a great love for pets, especially her many toy poodles whom she cherished and talked about fondly during her last days. Mary’s marital home had a special meaning to her as it held a lifetime of memories; it was her last wish to be at home for the remainder of her life.
A Christian Memorial Mass will be held at St James Catholic Church, 103 N Spring Street, Falls Church, VA 22046 on Friday, November 11, 2022, at 1:30 pm. Interment to follow at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions may be gifted to the St. James Clarke-Delaney Teacher Fund at https://www.saintjamesschool.org/giving/clarke-delaney-teacher-fund or Samaritan's Purse.