DCH employee retires after 37 years of service with GRIC

Christopher Lomahquahu

Gila River Indian News



Department of Community Housing honored the recently retired Abigail Thomas with a lunch reception at the Department of Community Housing warehouse in District 5 Sacate on Nov. 21 for her nearly four decades of service.


“It’s been 37 years, almost 38, I started with the Department of Education and worked with Tribal Social Services, Alcohol and Drug and Addiction Program, Gaming Office and then Housing,” said Thomas who said she remembers the days of typewriters and Xerox machines. 


DCH presented Thomas with a plaque and Pendleton blanket. “It’s going be a big loss, she’s been through so many changes and developments, decimation work orders, she’s the longest employee for building maintenance,” said DCH Director Laurie Thomas.


Inscribed on the crystal plaque was, “Abigail Thomas Secretary III Department of Community Housing, retired with distinction, a time to look with back with admiration and look forward with anticipation, happy retirement.”


 “I think working with members trying to serve them in any way I could to help them out,” said Thomas. She said, she’s seen a lot of the people grow up throughout her career, starting families of their own. 


As for retirement, Thomas said she wants to relax, possibly go back to school, get back to sewing, but most importantly spend time with her grandchildren and husband. She said that her work may have seemed monotonous but it was an important part of the whole process of serving the Gila River Indian Community.


Thomas thanked everyone, who made each day enjoyable and for the support and appreciation for putting together the luncheon and award for her years of service.