Sister Thoman was a media leader


JOHNSTON, Iowa — Sister Elizabeth Thoman, CHM, 73, died Dec. 22 at Bishop Drumm Retirement Center.

Elizabeth Jeanne Thoman was born to John Arthur and Gertrude Roberson Thoman on June 18, 1943, in Chattanooga, Tenn. She entered the Congregation of the Humility of Mary in 1964, professing vows in 1966.

Sister Elizabeth Thoman

Sr. Thoman earned a BA from Marycrest College in Davenport, an MA from the University of Southern California, Annenberg School of Communications; and an MA from Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles. She taught English at Linehan High School in Marshalltown, Iowa, from 1967-69 and served as staff and photographer for the Franciscan Communications Center in Los Angeles from 1970-75. She was executive director of The National Sisters Communications Service in Los Angeles until 1983.

In 2008, Sr. Thoman received the Leaders in Learning Lifetime of Achievement Award in Media Literacy Education. She was recognized for decades of leadership, primarily for founding Media & Values magazine and the Center for Media Literacy. Through Media Literacy Workshop kits for public and Catholic schools, she impacted thousands of teachers and students.


As a breast cancer survivor, Sr. Thoman began a new ministry “Healing Petals,” which utilized her photographic skills to inspire prayer and meditation, especially for cancer patients and others suffering life-threatening illnesses. After retirement to the Humility of Mary Center in Davenport in 2013, she served in the CHM membership development office. She moved to Bishop Drumm in 2016.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Dec. 28 at the Humility of Mary Center in Davenport with burial at Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Davenport.
Memorials may be made to the Congregation of the Humility of Mary.

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