Marian Gray Thomas a native of Powhatan County, Virginia and daughter of the late Reverend Fred Gray and Nannie James Gray began her education at the Loganville School in Trenholm. She continued her education at Van De Vyer Institute in. (Left: Marian Gray Thomas 1912 - 1996)
Richmond and also Virginia Union University. She was a substitute teacher in the Powhatan School System and taught adult education classes in Cumberland and Powhatan counties. Marian Gray Thomas also taught adult education classes to the young men in the C.C.C. Camp in Cumberland County.
Some years later she began to assist her brother Lucius Gray, with his funeral business in Dillwyn, Va., where she served her apprenticeship. In 1956, she obtained her license as a mortician by taking and passing a state examination.
In 1958, Marian Gray Thomas began her own funeral business on Route 45 in Cumberland in a small building adjacent to her residence. Marian Gray Thomas was the first African American female to establish a funeral home in Southside Virginia, where she served as owner/manager for 27 years.
Under the Leadership of Marian Gray Thomas her daughter -in- law, Loretha T. Thomas became a licensed Funeral Director in 1985. (Left: Loretha Trent Thomas 1985 to present)
Mrs. Thomas is a native of Cumberland County, the daughter of the late Mr. Lewis Trent and Mrs. Lucy Criss Trent. She attended and graduated from the Luther P. Jackson high School and she graduated
Magna Cum Laude from John Tyler Community College with an Associate Degree in Funeral Service.
Mrs. Thomas has worked in several capacities including the FBI, The Telephone Company, Farmers Home Administration, Cumberland County Public Schools and The Cumberland County Sheriffs' Office.
Mrs. Thomas is an active member of the Bethlehem Baptist Church in Cumberland where she serves on the Choir Ministry, Clerk of the Church, and Sponsor of the Annual Marian Gray Thomas Memorial Rally.
Mrs. Thomas is a lifetime member of the NAACP, The National Funeral Directors Association, The Virginia Morticians Association, Southside Funeral Directors Association and the Independent Funeral Directors Association.
She is married to Mr. Jeta R. Thomas, Jr. and they have one daughter, Leta JoAnn Thomas.
Mrs. Thomas has been commended for having been recognized by former Governor Mark Warner for her many contributions to the citizens of Cumberland County. It is because of her contributions to the citizens of Cumberland County that she was presented a Community Service Award from the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. - Iota Tau Lambda Chapter.
Mrs. Thomas has been operating the Marian Gray Thomas Funeral Home for twenty five years.