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Veronica May Parreira Thomas
May 20, 1950 - Feb. 28, 2024
Veronica May Parreira Thomas

Veronica, Shined like the sun at the break of dawn, as He raised her up on eagles’ wings and held her in the palm of His hand on February 28, 2024. Veronica P. Thomas passed away peacefully in her sleep after a brave, short battle with cancer in the care of Hinds Hospice, Fresno. 

Veronica May Parreira Thomas was born on May 20, 1950 to Eusebio Luis Parreira and Zelma Coehlo Parreira in Newman, California, spending her early years on the family ranch in Gustine. CA. She attended Our Lady of the Miracles Catholic School & graduated from Gustine High School in 1968. 

Veronica graduated from California State University, Fresno & earned her teaching credential in 1973. Later, earning a Masters of Arts in Education, Reading/Language Arts. Shortly after graduating, she married Fred Thomas on January 27, 1973 at Our Lady of the Miracles Catholic Church in Gustine and they were married for 42 years before his death in 2015. 

Veronica retired in 2009 after spending 36 years teaching at the middle school (Roosevelt & Abraham Lincoln) in the Selma Unified School District. She enjoyed teaching seventh- and eighth-graders, teaching language arts, literature, US. history, world history, journalism and reading intervention. She also found time to coach volleyball and basketball. Veronica was a talented, dedicated and respected teacher inside & outside of the classroom. As an Educator, Veronica was honored to be selected Selma Unified Teacher of Year and with the gift of a commemorative brick on the Teachers and Friends of Education Honor Wall at Fresno State. 

The following is an excerpt from a former student’s text sent to Veronica while she was in the hospital & best describes Veronica as a teacher: “When we met, I was in middle school, at a new school, with new classes and new peers. I went from a big fish in a small pond to a small fish in a very large pond. I felt overwhelmed. You and your class helped me to expand my horizons, not just academically but socially. Your teaching challenged me and inspired me to dream bigger and aspire to do more both academically and for our community. You taught me lessons in more than just English and literature but also in leadership and social responsibility. I recall you modeling this in how you supported my close friend and her family through their personal struggles. Your acts of kindness did not go unnoticed. 

…….Your mentorship, guidance and support started me down this path and I will be forever grateful. I hope that you find comfort in knowing the mark that you have made on me and so many others during your lifetime. Thank you and God bless you and keep you always.” 

Veronica also made time to assist her fellow teachers, serving as department chair, president of the Selma Unified Teachers Association and on the association’s negotiating team for numerous years. 

She was a devoted member of her church, Holy Family Catholic Church, Kingsburg and dedicated countless hours to organizations she held close to her heart, which included Kingsburg Catholic Women’s Club and Delta Kappa Gamma California. In addition, Veronica was a member of three other organizations, two of which honored her Portuguese heritage, The Brotherhood St. Anthony and The Cabrillo Club and another, The Young Ladies’ Grand Institute, an organization for Catholic women dedicated to the Christian principles of charity and love. 

Veronica was known for her ability to organize special events. As an only child who also married an only child, she loved to get people together for special events. There was no event, too big or too small that she couldn’t organize. From a small family get together with her cousins; a birthday party celebrating someone’s special birthday; a retirement party for a friend; a conference for one of the organizations that she was a member; or even a state convention with over 500 attendees, you knew that if Veronica was involved with the planning, it would be something special. Many have commented upon learning of her passing, “Who will organize this for us now” or “I bet she’s organizing something in Heaven now. “ 

Family, friends, and people who knew her, will mostly remember her kindness, loving nature and sense of humor. She truly cared about everyone. She leaves all of us to remember her in a special way. She will be truly missed, but her legacy and great impact that she had on everyone, will be with us for the rest of our lives. 

Veronica was preceded in death by her husband, Fred; parents, Eusebio & Zelma; uncles Manuel Coehlo and Antonio Parreira; aunt and uncle Mary Jean & Edward Pinerhio; and in-laws Clevin and Eleanor Thomas. She is survived by her daughter, Summer of Kingsburg; son, Shane and his girlfriend Maricruz Dominguez of Anaheim; and her 4-legged grandson, Hank of Anaheim. She is also survived by cousins, Janet Pinheiro of Modesto; Marie Edward and her husband Randy of Hilmar; Anthony Parreira and his wife Christine of Gustine; aunt Amelia Parreira of Gustine; and godmother Polly Treshler of Gustine. 

To the staff at Fresno Community Hospital and Hinds Hospice, the tenderness and sensitivity you showed our mom at the end of her life is something we will never forget. Thank you, for the comfort you gave our mom as well as the wonderful insights knowledge, and emotional support you showed our entire family. Watching someone you love make the transition out of this life is a really difficult thing, and your wisdom and comfort helped us navigate this challenging time. Thank you so much for all that you do. 

Visitation for Veronica will be held Thursday, April 4th from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM, followed by Recitation of the Holy Rosary at 7:00 p.m. at Holy Family Catholic Church, 1275 Smith Street, Kingsburg, CA 93631. 

Friday, April 5, 2024, a funeral mass will be held at 9:30 AM at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 2441 Dockery Avenue, Selma, CA 93662. A committal service, following the funeral mass, will be held at Kingsburg Cemetery, 12782 E Clarkson Ave, Kingsburg, CA 93631. Following the burial, a reception will be held at the Selma Portuguese Hall, 1245 E. Nebraska, Selma, CA 93662. 

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations in Veronica’s honor to the: Kingsburg Catholic Women’s Club (P.O. Box 798 , Kingsburg, CA 93631), Hinds Hospice ( 2490 W. Shaw Ave. Suite 101, Fresno, CA 93711) or a charity of your choice. 

Services have been entrusted to Salser & Dillard Creighton Chapel. Memorial Tributes and condolences may be offered by logging onto