Mass of Christian Burial for Thomalu Elliott of Melcher-Dallas will be held Tuesday, September 6, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Melcher-Dallas. A luncheon will be held following the service and then interment will be at the Graceland Cemetery in Knoxville.
In honor of Thomalu, current/former tumblers, please wear your AeroTwisters t-shirts, etc. to the service and/or visitation.
Family will receive friends on Monday, September 5, 2022, from 4:00 until 7:00 p.m. at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Melcher-Dallas. Memorials in Thomalu’s name will be designated to some of her passions and may be made in care of her family.
Thomalu is one of a kind! An inspiration to all who knew her, approaching everything with a positive attitude. Thomalu was fierce, brave, and strong in all she did. Right now, we think of how she battled the last several months. She fought without complaints, always strong, and always positive. She gave strength to her family through her love and devotion to them. This is no surprise to anyone who knows Thomalu.
Thomalu was raised with her sister Marsha, the daughters of James and Adeline Haycock, in Lovilia, Iowa. She graduated from Albia High School in 1970. She went to Northeast Missouri State University in Kirksville to pursue a teaching and coaching degree. After graduation she first began teaching in Melcher-Dallas in 1973. As it happened, she met Mike Elliott that year. They were married on December 27, 1975. She was the physical education teacher and coach at Melcher-Dallas. They made their home in Melcher-Dallas, building their current home, in 1979. She went back to school at Simpson and pursued her degree in Elementary/Reading Education. She began subbing and landed a fulltime position at Carlisle Community Schools. Thomalu taught there until retiring in 2014. She also found time to coach softball at Knoxville High School all the while continuing the AeroTwisters in Melcher-Dallas.
For 42 years, Thomalu has passionately coached and mentored many children through her AeroTwisters Tumbling Club. The tumblers always brought pure joy to her. She loved to spoil them with bags of candy after meets and practices. It was very special to have coached her daughters: Carrie and Kelli, maybe even more so to be able to coach her granddaughters: Tenley and Brodie. Thomalu’s tumbling kids gave back to her in a special way this year over Coal Miner’s weekend by coming to her home and tumbling in the front yard while she was able to watch with her heart full of joy.
Thomalu touched many lives throughout her career as a teacher and coach. She did so much more than coach softball, basketball, track, cheerleading, and dance (although she did a great job at that), she taught kids how to live, how to grow, and how to have fun. Thomalu made an impact on so many kids, and many of these relationships have become lifelong friendships.
Thomalu gave to her community in many ways and was active in all community events. She was very active with her church family. Being a member of the Altar and Rosary at Sacred Heart, she especially enjoyed helping make the Fall Bazaar happen. She loved to dance and socialize; she never met a stranger. She was an intense fan of the Hawkeyes and the Packers, also more knowledgeable than most, and she was a fierce competitor in all that she did.
Thomalu loved her people and was the driving force for keeping them together. She organized monthly dinners for the “Lovilia Girls”, a group of her childhood friends and classmates, as well as her teaching friends from Carlisle, and friends she has made throughout her journey. If you were a friend, you were always just a phone call away.
Thomalu was close with all her extended family. Everyone was important to her. She never went a day without talking with her sister, Marsha. Their relationship was one of a kind. She continued many family traditions, including carrying on family recipes. By the way, Thomalu was an amazing cook! She loved to host family events, especially Thanksgiving and Christmas. There was always way more than enough to eat and plenty to send home with everyone. She would cook and Mike would clean, always a great team. She would make favorites for the grandchildren such as mac and cheese, but dessert was the most important part – sugar cookies or soft serve ice cream served with strawberries or in a root beer float.
As much as she gave to everyone, she gave even more to her husband, children, and grandchildren. Being married to Mike for nearly 47 years, the two were inseparable. Being best friends, they did everything together. Her children will remember how she was always there, at every event, to cheer and encourage them. She was their loudest fan! Everything about Thomalu was made to be a grandma! She adored watching the girls tumble and dance in the living room and the boys play in the backyard.
Thomalu will be remembered as brave, strong, and an inspiration to all who knew her.
Thomalu will be greatly missed by her husband, Mike Elliott; children: Carrie (TJ) Fairley, Bart Elliott, and Kelli Elliott; six grandchildren: Creighton, Carson, and Cael Fairley, and Drake, Tenley, and Brodie Elliott; her sister, Marsha Haycock; her brothers and sisters-in-law; along with nieces, nephews, and all of her extended family and friends.
Thomalu passed away September 2, 2022, at the age of 69 years. She was preceded in death by her parents: James and Adeline Haycock; and an infant brother, Thomas.
The service will be livestreamed at the following link: https://my.gather.app/remember/thomalu-elliott