Rebekah Thomas - Cultural Enrichment

Rebekah Thomas


Cultural Enrichment

Nominated by

Kimberly Hatch

Presented by

Diane Test, Merit Awards Committee


Rebekah Thomas retired last year after 22 years of volunteer service for the Santa Rural Cemetery Preservation Committee. The Cemetery Preservation Committee is a dedicated group of volunteers working with the City of Santa Rosa to operate, maintain and preserve the Rural Cemetery. The volunteers participate in special projects, restoration, publicity, and fundraising.

Rebekah’s monumental volunteer service included being editor of the Cemeterian newsletter for 15 years, organizing fundraising events such as a historical ball at the McDonald mansion and “Dining with the Dearly Departed.” She created the “Dark Side Tours,” writing scripts, casting actors, planning routes, creating printed programs, and paid for the Hubbub Band. She spent endless hours directing and writing vignettes for the Lamplight tours. One Lamplight tour written by Rebekah touched a family so much they provided “Shiner” (a shoeshine man who once lived in Santa Rosa) with a tombstone to commemorate his remarkable past. Rebekah also sometimes sewed some of the vintage clothing worn by volunteers for the tours and, over the years, involved her son, daughter, and grandkids in important roles too.

Rebekah’s volunteer work with the Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery Preservation Committee has helped provide our community with a unique and fascinating insight into the lives of our early residents.

Photos of Recipient in Action

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Photos of Awards Ceremony

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