Irene A. Thomas, 91

Union Trust banker

October 13, 2007

Irene A. Thomas, a retired banker and former Dundalk resident, died of heart failure Sunday at Peninsula Medical Center in Salisbury. She was 91.

Born Irene Ameila Riley in Baltimore and raised in Dundalk and Highlandtown, she was placed in foster care after the death of her mother when she was 8.

"A bright student, she wanted to continue her schooling but was compelled to leave the classroom after the sixth grade to work on the farm owned by her foster parents," said Molly Meals Wilkinson, a granddaughter.

In 1938, she married Raymond Edward Meals II, who worked for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad.

After his death in 1954, she returned to school and earned her General Educational Development certificate, and studied bookkeeping and accounting.

In the mid-1950s, she moved to St. Michaels with her two sons, and then in the early 1960s returned to Baltimore and took a job as a loan investigator at the old Union Trust Co.

She later was promoted to supervisor of the accounts payable department, a position she held until retiring in 1979.

She was an avid reader, often reading six books a week, her granddaughter said, and enjoyed duckpin bowling. She also liked visiting East Coast beaches, crabbing and ballroom dancing.

"She went to many dances at the old Boumi Temple," her granddaughter said.

She had lived at Center Place apartments for many years until moving to Princess Anne in 2003.

Services for Mrs. Thomas will be held at 1 p.m. Monday at the Lilly & Zeiler Funeral Home, 1901 Eastern Ave.

Also surviving are her two sons, Raymond E. Meals III of Princess Anne and Robert Meals of Berlin; a brother, Charles Riley of Baltimore; five other grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren. A second marriage to Harwood Thomas ended in divorce.

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