ForeverMissed
This memorial website was created in memory of my mum, Cecilia Thomas, born on November 27, 1954, and passed away on March 7, 2021 at 66 years of age. 

She was the most amazing wife, mum, sister, daughter, nani, mum in law, aunt, cousin, friend, doctor and mentor to so many.

She squeezed every ounce out of life and whilst it breaks my heart she is no longer with us, I am creating a space so that she can be remembered as the warm, positive, kind, generous and determined force of nature that she was. 

Cysga'n Dawel x
Posted by Alice McLaren on March 8, 2022
Happy International Women’s Day Celie. You were, and always will be, a true inspiration. We love you and miss you lots xxxx
Posted by Diane O 'Connell on March 7, 2022
You are Still very sadly missed . Still in our thoughts. 

Diane O'Connell
Posted by Devina Brown on March 7, 2022
Celia,

You truly were a Force of nature and your strength enspires me to this day. You are missed every day. The pain never dulls but on the moments when I need it most I think #BeMoreCelia and I hear your encouraging words.
Thank you x
Posted by Cheryl Hudgell on March 7, 2022
You are forever missed dear Cecelia.
The world's super wonky without you. Miss you sooooo much and putting everything into a straight line.
All my love to you and your family xxxxx
Posted by Paula Healan on March 7, 2022
I think of you every day Celia you were such an inspiration you are greatly missed by staff and patients at the surgery sending you all my love xxx
Posted by Geraldine Walsh on March 7, 2022
Remembering you Celia, very much missed by all at the surgery.
Posted by Anne-Maria Salmon on March 7, 2022

It’s so hard to believe that it’s already a year since you left this world , so suddenly , without warning . Leaving us all so stunned and in disbelief , grieving and struggling with the realisation that you will never walk through the door again .  

You went off that day a year ago on your bike and never returned leaving a huge void in all our lives . 

Like many of us ‘left behind’ , not a day goes by when I don’t think of you, and all the happy days spent together , lunches , coffee and of course cake , always cake . 

It still doesn’t seem possible that you won’t walk through the door again , plonk on a chair and chatter away , laughing and saying “ dear dear” at various things , or “ you’ll never guess what … “ as you did love good gossip , or, just laughing at various happenings .

You are missed Celia , very missed . 
Xx
Posted by Jo Hooke on December 29, 2021
Celia was a very well liked school friend of us all at Bishop Walsh School, Sutton Coldfield. We were very proud of her achievements (I understand the first of our peers to study medicine) Sending you our sincere sympathies and kind wishes to all her family.
Jo (nee Barns)
Posted by Catrin MacLaughlan on December 24, 2021
Dear Roger,Emma,Beth,Rhys and family,

My thoughts are with you all on your first Christmas without Celia. Christmas is but one day, your memories will last forever.
I have written a short poem in Welsh to mark the occasion. I’m no poet and it is a very amateur attempt - but it is written from the heart.
Catrin. x.


Celia - Nadolig 2021

Gwraig a Mam a Nani annwyl
Wedi’n gadael mor annisgwyl.
“Hwyl yr Wyl” ar goll eleni
Hiraeth tawel fydd amdani.

Er fod fflamau’r tan i’w gweled
Oer yw’r aelwyd wedi’r golled.
Coeden gyda’i golau llachar
Heb oleuo twyllwch galar.

Di flas fydd y cinio Nadolig
Ond am halen dagrau cuddiedig.
Tawel a thrist fydd y dathlu
Wrth i’r teulu gyd alaru.

Yn y gorllewin y bu’r ffarwelio,
Ond ei haul sydd heb fachludo.
Gwres a golau llu atgofion
Bydd yn falm i godi’r galon
Posted by Cheryl Hudgell on November 28, 2021
Happy Birthday dear Celia. We miss you sooooo much. Still doesn't feel real that you have passed. Expecting you to turn up one day with your awesome give it a go attitude. You are a remarkable lady, and will never be forgotten by all your dear family, friends, colleagues and patients. You will always be smiling, listening and supporting us from up above. Just wish you were still here. Missing you xxx
Posted by Diane O 'Connell on November 28, 2021
Still sadly missed. In out thoughts especially today. 
RIP
Diane .O'Connell
Posted by Lesley Edwards on November 27, 2021
Celia,you are in my heart every day. Especially this week. Meryl and I went for a trip to London and talked about you so much. You should have been with us.
None of us can truly believe you have gone,but your spirit lives on.
We reminisce about the surgery,the days out,the holidays taken. The celebrations together. So much. And so much richer with you in it.
But you will never be forgotten especially on this day, your birthday.
Much love xx
Posted by Geraldine Walsh on November 27, 2021
Remembering a lovely lady, whom it was a pleasure to work with. 
Posted by Meryl Moakes on November 27, 2021
Bitter sweet memories today and every day. I still cannot believe that you have gone. One moment I smile when I recall happy times with you and in the next moment I feel the loss so much that it takes my breath. I speak to you every day and imagine your response. I feel you walking by my side. You were such an important part of my life. X❤️
Posted by Anne-Maria Salmon on November 27, 2021
Your birthday and your not here . Remembering today all the fun we had on family birthdays over the years . The cakes that got eaten and in particular the way you loved eating the icing . There was one cake that used to be sold in M&S some years ago that we would sometimes buy for birthdays , at other times I’d also buy the ones that were damaged and sold very cheap as seconds ,from the Avana factory bakery shop .
I think the cake looked like Dougal the dog from ‘The Magic Roundabout ‘ , but I can’t quite remember, now . But I do I remember how you loved it’s icing .
The cake had a fudge icing , described by you as “ the best “ After being cut , the cake used to end up part balding as its icing got gradually picked away , eaten and enjoyed in small pieces . You would reminisce about that icing after the cake had disappeared from the shop shelves . 
No fudge icing and no dougal cake anymore but I might go and buy a ‘Colin the Caterpillar ‘ cake today in your honour .

X
Posted by Cat Brady on May 15, 2021
I was lucky enough to find Dr Thomas in the Newport Road surgery, pre Minster Road, when I was 19. She helped me through so much over the following 25 years, with care, compassion and incredible professionalism. I am very sad to hear of her passing. 
My deepest condolences to her family and friends.
Posted by A C on April 13, 2021
From Antonia Luscombe-Whyte

I have just heard devastating news.
I am so, so sorry to hear of Dr Thomas's sudden death. 
I know will be a massive loss to family, colleagues and patients. I knew her as a passionate, caring woman who did so much to help others and left the world a lesser place without her in it.
With love and prayers to family and friends who will no doubt be left reeling.

Posted by Michael Pasquin on April 13, 2021
Cysga'n Dawel, your Mother was a lovely, gentle person, and I am and I am already missing her terribly – and I’m only a patient.

I know you live in Japan from choice because you like their way of life, and probably can’t get home. My thoughts are with you as well.

Nick. (nickdavies007@aol.com)
Posted by Louisa Wilson on April 11, 2021
Dear Roger and family,
Chris and I are so very sorry to hear about Celia.
I loved working with her in St Mellons. She was always a supportive colleague, a great doctor with a fantastic work ethic and so full of energy and fun.
I’ve been very moved by your wonderful eulogy and realise how much you will all miss her.
Very best wishes,
Louisa and Chris Wilson
Posted by Alice McLaren on April 9, 2021
I must admit, I have delayed writing this because it is difficult to put into a few paragraphs the impact that Celie had on my life, the life of my siblings, and on our parents. She didn’t just mean a lot to us; she meant everything. Since we moved to Cardiff when I was a young child, Celie and the Thomas’ have been a permanent and close feature in our lives. When we were younger Rhys used to appear in our house most days of the week which resulted in Celie also being there frequently, having cappuccinos and a good chat with mum and dad.

I remember fondly our family adventures together, especially our half term breaks at Alton Towers. On one visit, I remember feeling like an absolute boss when she bought me a t-shirt from a photo shoot that made me look like I was skiing and, honestly, I kept it for years afterwards. This is just a small example of Celie’s generosity. Another example I remember is at Emma’s hen and, being aware that me and my sisters were students at the time, she absolutely refused to let us buy our own lunch, to the point where she ended up throwing a Euro note across the table at my face! This seems like a funny little anecdote to remember but I also think it sums Celie up so well- absolutely committed to looking after others, and giving that commitment with *110%* always.

Celie was very much the nucleus of family life, with her and Rog’s house being a central point for family gatherings and big celebrations. It’s the type of home where, if the light is on, you’re guaranteed to be welcomed in, sat at the kitchen table, offered a cup of tea, and just greeted with general warmth and enthusiasm. We’ve spent more birthdays, Christmases, life events (even the millennium!) there than I can count. Now I wish I hadn’t taken these moments for granted so much.

Celie’s caring nature was coupled with absolute pragmatism. She was also the person who made sure I pushed the doctors for referrals for my eldest son when he wasn’t walking at 18 months. This kicked off a series of support interventions, ultimately leading to an Autism diagnosis at a relatively young age. I wonder how long we would have been chasing that diagnosis without Celie’s initial push.

I could go on and on with these little anecdotes of Celie’s influence on our lives but hopefully the above demonstrates that the influence was profound. I’m so very sad but I’m also so very grateful to have had such a brilliant person in my life. I’ll miss you always Celie. Love you loads. xxxx
Posted by Alex Mullen on April 9, 2021
Auntie Celie was the life and soul of the party and a glamorous and generous Auntie who looked after everyone. We loved playing with the cousins in that amazing house filled with toys and food. Celie always had exciting things planned and we got to do all sorts of stuff we couldn’t back home. We don’t remember her saying no to any of our crazy ideas – she wanted us all to have fun. We remember vividly the trips to Oakwood park. The girls were usually facing backwards in the back of the Volvo plotting all sorts. Rhys and David picked up the phrase ‘too loud man you’re bugging me’ from one of the attractions and repeated it endlessly all holiday… After a day of rampaging we’d spend hours trying to spy on the adults late at night – there was lots of laughing and stuff we didn’t understand.

Celie was utterly devoted to family. She has been a source of strength and advice for the family forever. But that doesn’t really do it justice: we’re pretty confident she saved our dad’s life ten years ago and she certainly kept gran alive for years, supporting her constantly with medical attention and love. She arranged meet-ups to make sure we didn’t lose contact as our lives grew busier and further apart: gran’s 90th was a memorable event – Mike accidently took a substantial cake knife in his rucksack through the security at Windsor castle and set all the alarms off. Thankfully the fact that he was accompanied by 90-odd year olds reassured the guards.

We’re glad Celie got to meet Sophie a couple of times, one time was at Mike’s sister’s house in Dinas – Celie seemed to know everyone (Lucy is a GP). She thoughtfully brought gifts not only for Sophie but also for Lucy’s daughter. We feel so sad that Celie never got to meet baby Jessica, Alex’s youngest, or Jude, David’s fiancée. She taught us to work hard, enjoy life to the full and to look after one another. Getting together won’t ever be the same again without Auntie Celie. We hope to be together soon to raise a glass or two to her.

We send all our love and thoughts to Uncle Roger, our cousins, Tomos and Henri and the many other people who have lost a very dear friend and mentor. It feels so very surreal and unfair. Rest in peace Auntie, and please say hello to gran and grandad Albert for us.

Alex and David
Posted by Judith Kiely on April 6, 2021
Such sad news. Patrick and I offer our heartfelt sympathies to you, Roger, and to your family.
Posted by Bidi Griffiths on April 1, 2021

My memories of Celia.
I was an only child and therefore had no nieces until I married and had Roger as Maldwyn’s nephew. Then when he married, Celia came into my life as a special niece.
She had so many qualities, kind, welcoming and generous, talented, loving, devoted to her family and a joy to be with. We were always made welcome in their home in Cardiff and Aberaeron. I remember the welcome home party she arranged in the house for Emma when she returned from her gap year in Australia and then there was a shared birthday party for Emma and Bethan.
Some times it’s the little things she did that I remember and which show her generosity, the last time I saw her she brought me some chocolates. When I needed a pillow so that I could sit up comfortably in bed she gave me a special one that had been her mother’s so I think of her and Beezie every time I go to bed.
Once, as I was walking down the street in Aberaeron, I heard footsteps running behind me and it was Tomos, saying Hello Aunty Bidi. He and Henri had been with Meryl and Celia in a café and Celia had happened to see me go past. Tomos was sent to go after me and bring me back to Zuko’s to have coffee with them.
I usually sit in the same pew in Aberaeron church, it has a stained glass window by it and depicted on it are two figures, one of St Luke, the physician and the other of Saint Cecilia. It’s no wonder that I think of that as Celia’s window.

With love. R.I.P

Bidi
Posted by Richard Edwards on March 28, 2021
Celia and I were partners in a changing medical practice from the mid eighties until I retired in 2012.
She was always hard working, and was very reluctant to take any time off, even when quite unwell!
I will remember her for the way she took care of our grandson Ewan at our daughter, Helen’s wedding, walking him around until he settled down.
Celia came home early at my mother’s funeral and made all the tea at home.
I remember her turning up at Cardiff Royal Infirmary, when I had to identify the body of our partner Huw Davies, who had died in a push-bike accident in 1986.
She was always there to help and was always useful with her advice.
She was a good trainer in General Practice and trained many GPs over the years.
Our families had many holidays together and I will always remember them.
I was dumbfounded when I heard she had died, as I never thought that I would be at her funeral, but the reality was that I was there!
She was always a good partner and a very good friend, and of course I will always miss her.
I feel so sorry for Roger and the family, Emma, Bethan and Rhys, together with Carwyn, Jess and Meryl, her best friend.
Rest In Peace.
Dick.
Posted by Victoria Cole on March 28, 2021
Celia was the most inspirational person. From when I considered studying medicine at aged 16, she was the only doctor I knew (as well as Roger) and she remained a huge role model throughout university, still to this day and always will be. I felt so thrilled to have her as a GP trainer and loved my time as a GP reg with her. I learnt so much both clinically but also in the ‘approach’ to people. She had such warmth about her yet also a ‘no nonsense’ attitude mixed with the most wonderful ‘get up and go’ and as so many have said a zest for life. A truly one of a kind person who will never be forgotten.

Sending my utmost heartfelt condolences to you all x
Posted by Angela Bradley on March 28, 2021
Cecilia was my niece and a great friend. I will miss her very much. She was a wonderful daughter and daughter in law and I loved the way she never forgot a birthday or Christmas. Her flowers were always so beautiful. Rest in Peace Cecilia.
Beezie
Posted by Tom Salmon on March 28, 2021
It is 3.38 in the morning. I woke up thinking about not being at the funeral on Friday. And wanting to write something here. However, I don’t know what to write. And I am very, very sad.

I called Celia “Aunty Celie”, although she was no relation and, more honestly, she was like a second mum to me. I loved her a lot, just like I love my actual mum.

Growing up, we (the Salmons) and the Thomas family would traverse each other's houses, often operating as one interchangeable unit. It was never a surprise to hear that one of my parents or siblings was at their house. Or to come downstairs and find Celie, Rodgie, Em, Beth or Reebo in our house. Celia especially.

Celia was like the nuclear reactor at the heart of that big family. She was always throwing parties, organising holidays, finding day trips, taking us to restaurants, enrolling us in sports camps, signing up for challenges and generally filling all of our days. Celia did things. Or, more honestly, she didn’t stop doing things. Ever. The Salmons are a happy-go-lucky bunch. The Thomas’ are happy-go-go-go. And that was my Aunty Celie.

She was a perpetual motion machine with a zest for life. This had the wholly intended consequence of improving the lives of everyone around her who she loved. Since she has passed, my brain has been consumed with memories. The sheer volume of smiles I can retrieve that start with Celia Thomas is a testament to the incredible way she was.

I don’t know another Celia. I probably never will. But I am very happy I did. She “left it all on the field”, as the saying goes.

Rest (or don't - your choice) in peace, Aunty Celie. I love you lots. xxx
Posted by Bridget W-W on March 27, 2021
I remember when your parents visited Japan and came into see KIST -Celia was so outgoing and just lovely. That was a brief meeting but I remember her warmth these years later and am so saddened to hear this news. I’m so sorry for your loss. Much love x
Posted by Rhys Thomas on March 27, 2021
In this moment, I Unravel like a ball of yarn
My twisted, braided skein falling apart
Life’s rich tapestry now seems so uninspired
Without its sympathetic seamstress

It is only now my eyes are open to the true finality of life,
A concept I once thought simple,
Now becomes very abstract....
Indecipherable

But the colours of your memories remain so very vibrant,
dazzling like the fireflies we saw together on that hot Sri Lankan night
So warm and comforting, like your loving embrace

However, these tranquil moments were beautifully interweaved with spirit and vigour ,
as powerful as galloping water horses chasing the shore..... their final destination

And, there.... on the shore I stand
Waiting to receive your beacon of energy,
A flaming torch that will never fade
Because I will carry it for you


Posted by Helen Giles on March 27, 2021
Celia was an amazing, inspirational person who will remain in our hearts forever. I can’t remember a family occasion without Celia being there. We celebrated birthdays, weddings, anniversaries and holidays together.
I remember our wedding day when Celia arrived, looking fabulous as always, unfortunately Celia missed the service as she took our baby Ewan somewhere quiet for a sleep as he was screaming the place down. My 40th birthday, Celia turned up with a caterpillar birthday cake (Tomos chose it). 
I feel very lucky to have know Celia and think of her as family and always will. My heart goes out to Roger, Emma, Bethan and Rhys but hope they take comfort knowing how many people were touched by such a wonderful woman.
Forever in our hearts x
Posted by Jenny Francis on March 26, 2021
Celia, I only met you on a handful of occasions but when I did you always made me and everyone in your company feel at ease. You had a genuine interest in people and a compassion that was special.
Your sudden passing is such a shock and so hard to comprehend. My thoughts are with Roger, Emma, Bethan, Rhys and the rest of your family x
Posted by Carol Jenkins on March 26, 2021
I have so many lovely memories of days, evenings, weekends and holidays spent with Celia when our children were young and we were neighbours, friends and young mums together loving life. I remember Lisa telling us that she was going to marry Rhys and live in a caravan at the bottom of the garden with their children. How we laughed!

So very shocked and saddened to learn of Celia's passing. A very special lady. Thinking of you all at this difficult time. X
Posted by Stella Gunningham on March 26, 2021
I have never known such a kind and selfless person . Cecilia is part of an amazing kind family who, have always welcomed me and made me feel wanted . I will never forget the chats we had whilst we trained for Berlin Marathon together . She was full of such interesting information and I always ended a run a more informed and enlightened person in some way or other. Her abundance of resilience was contagious and she inspired me to keep going despite wanting to give up several times during a long run. Today is such a sad day as everyone tried to make sense of why someone so beautiful had to leave so soon . Thinking of you all and feeling grateful for being a tiny part of Celia’s life’s journey ❤️Xxxx
Posted by Vivienne Deacon on March 26, 2021
I've always admired your zest for life Celia, the fun and laughter you brought with you especially to our xmas parties and our concerts .The care and advice yu gave to so many will never be forgotten. Sending condolences to all your family at this very difficult time .R.I.PCelia
Posted by Jane Millar on March 26, 2021
Celia
I feel privileged to have known you. You have been so special to so many, I feel fortunate to have met you. I have such admiration for what you have tackled and achieved - an amazing inspiration to all of us. And all this with such a caring nature, with a nature of love and fun. You will stay in the hearts of many, and especially your family
With much love, Jane
Posted by Pierre French on March 26, 2021
I used to see Ceily when I visited Plants Brook Road as a good friend of Will's from St Philip's Grammar School. I ended up meeting Jane, their next door neighbour who I later married. It was a close-knit group -numbers 55 and 57
 Ceily was always smiling and easy to get along with; obviously highly intelligent with a really inquisitive mind. She was well informed and could argue her corner well and stuck to her guns. I lost many 'discussions' with her
That she went on and studied to become a GP was no surprise to me.
 Meeting her later on in life things just carried on as before, as though there had been no interlude. Her friendship was unconditional.
 Her passing will leave a hole in our lives which will never be filled.
 Pierre XX
Posted by Josh Steer on March 26, 2021
Celia was such a lovely person who was always so welcoming, approachable and easy to get along with. You were always smiling and chatty and even though we only met on a few occasions it felt like I had known you for 10 years. Your sudden passing is a huge shock to us all and you will be hugely missed by everyone. My thoughts go out to Roger,Emma, Bethan, Rhys and the rest of the family x
Posted by Karen Barrett on March 26, 2021
To Celia,
I first got to know you when you, Roger, Emma, Bethan and Rhys used to come to Ireland to visit Beezie when my brothers and I were young. We used to get so excited for your visits because we knew we were going to have fun.
Our days were filled with day trips you would organize like going on adventures such as visits to the beach where we’d pick cockles, watch the crabs, swim and we’d always have an ice cream on the way home.
I also remember you teaching us rounders and we’d play for hours in the field. You’d cook us supper in the evening and we’d eat it down in our beloved apple tree cottage.
There was also hilarious twister games after mountains of popcorn and lots of baking and the messiest, greenest Fungus the Bogeyman cake was all over Beezie’s kitchen one year.
I remember lots of tears from us all when you all had to leave to go home on the boat.
Over the years I visited your home in Cardiff and I got to know you as an adult. You were always so welcoming and I loved spending time with you all. We had great chats and thank you for encouraging me in my career and inspiring me to follow my dreams.
Celia, you were a brilliant memory maker for so many people. You organized so many occasions for family and friends and brought people together. You loved a good party and seeing people happy. I’ll never forget one year calling to your home and people shouting “surprise”, you had organized an 18th birthday for me.
You always thought of others and always sent a card when a new baby arrived or for a special birthday.
You helped and supported me and my family so much in January this year when our Dad was so ill and when he sadly passed away one of the first sympathy cards to arrive in the post that week was from you.
Our family is not the same without you. It is so hard to believe you are gone.
I hope that Roger, Emma, Carwyn, Tomos, Henri, Bethan and Rhys, Jess, Will and Chris can draw strength from all the love that so many people had for you Celia. I so wish we could go over to give them all big hugs. Sending lots of love to you all.

Lots of love to you Celia from Karen

Slan Abhaile Celia xxxxxx
Posted by Susan Wadden on March 25, 2021
Celia, you were a wonderful friend who will be so greatly missed.
You were such a thoughtful, kind and caring person who always had time and was interested in everyone.
You had such a zest for life and we loved spending time in your company.
We have lovely memories of our trips to France visiting Phil and Annick. We will always remember one particular evening, listening to our favourite songs and dancing along with them.
We will be eternally grateful for the guidance,wealth of experience and inspiration you gave to Victoria whilst she was doing her GP training with you.
Reading these tributes it shows how you touched and enriched the lives of so many people. You will remain forever in our hearts.
Love Sue and Anthony xx
Posted by Dionne Way on March 25, 2021
So many wonderful memories of Celia, she was an amazing woman and I am so lucky to have had the pleasure of knowing her through Outdoor Fitness. Celia always had such interesting stories and I was always blown away by her sheer determination and zest for life, my favourite memory is from the Coast 2 Coast event a group of us completed in Scotland. After finishing the two day event (in which Celia put most of us to shame) we all enjoyed a few drinks and on the bus journey back Celia regaled us stories and songs from her university days and had the whole bus in fits of laughter the whole journey.

OF and events won’t be the same without Celia and she will be sorely missed by so many people but her memory will forever live on.
Posted by Clare Phillips on March 25, 2021
There are no words to take away the pain of your sudden departure from this world.

You always made us feel welcome. We spent many summer holidays and weekends with you when we were little. Tracy and I even got a coach down to you and Roger to stay with Emma, Bethan and Rhys and we just knew it wouldn't be boring. Day trips to Roath Park, meals out, fairground trips, the beaches , there was never a dull moment. 

You always had time for everyone, I still do not know how you managed all you did in a day, You always listened and had time for everyone you met. 

What a truly inspirational lady, you have been taken far too soon but I have no doubt you will fly high and continue with your purpose in life from above. Always helping others. 

Your spirit will live on in your 3 beautiful children and Grandchildren. Fly high Cecilia. Love from Clare xxxxxxxxxx
Posted by Mel Steer on March 25, 2021


Dear Celia
You were a beautiful lady inside and out.  I had the pleasure of knowing you only since Jess and Rhys got together
Both you and Roger always made me very welcome in your home and your hospitality was amazing.
I enjoyed our Wedding Venue visits, wedding flower planning and soft furnishings shopping for Jess and Rhys’s new home.
You always asked how I was, so compassionate and cared.  Rhys is so much like you in that respect.
I am heartbroken that we will not be able to share Rhys and Jess’s Wedding Day and our future grandchildren growing up together.
The name Cecilia or Celia was a Roman name that was derived from Latin meaning ‘Heaven’, heaven means something perfect in every way and you were.
This is such a tragedy; the shock of your passing is so difficult to understand.  Sleep tight
All my love and condolences to Roger, Emma, Bethan, Rhys and family xx

Mel




 

Posted by Angela Bradley on March 25, 2021
Ceily was my cousin and my friend. She had so many amazing qualities but her greatest talent was her generosity of spirit. I never once rang her when she was too busy to talk. I will miss her wise council and gentle guidance. When our children were small we shared their trials or should I say our trials and tribulations. When the grandchildren came we celebrated our new chapter. She was the glue that kept our big Irish family together. She was always interested in what people were doing. She could learn more about someone in 5 mins than most of us could learn in a day. She was kind and caring and a wonderful travelling companion. I will miss our chats and getting together to solve the worlds problems over a glass of something. We are all better for having known her but rightly cross that she has gone too soon. Rest in Peace dear Friend. Xx
Posted by Elise Jenkins on March 25, 2021
Dear Celia,
Beatrice, Hugh Bear and I have known you for such a short time, but in that time you have shown us nothing but kindness, generosity, wisdom, and inspiration.
From spotting a five-year-old Bea had an infected finger (and not just a “sore baddie”) and needed a trip to A&E, while over the buffet at a family party; to no-nonsense life advice over Prosecco the night before Snowdonia marathon.
You are the centre and force of your family. You have shown such love, devotion, strength and energy to Emma and the boys, that we could only look on and wish we could be part of it.
Sharing bacon sandwiches and hot chocolate with you at sunrise on the Garth on New Year’s Day was the very best - and most hopeful - new year. It’s now all the more special.
Emma is so like you, and we’ll look after her.
Sleep well, Celia xxx
All our love, Elise, Beatrice and Hugh Bear xxx
Posted by Sian Trenberth on March 25, 2021
Celia was an extraordinary person. Whenever I saw her, I always used to enjoy getting her take on life. She was wise, kind and had so much experience of so many things. I was fortunate to photograph Celia and her family together and could see that she was part of a close and special family. My heartfelt condolences to all the family. My thoughts are also with Celia's countless friends, who also valued her so much.
Posted by William Mullen on March 25, 2021
To my dearest sister

My first memories of you were when you were born, or rather when you came home just after your birth. I stood at the top of the steps at 57 Plants Brook Road nervously awaiting your arrival. I wondered what having a little sister would be like. I was two and a half years old and it is my first memory.

I asked our parents to call you Hank, after Hank the cowboy, but instead they called you Cecilia because you were born near Saint Cecilia‘s day and I was given a budgie, which I called Hank. We spent many very happy years, playing with our neighbours, all of whom we knew well. It was a carefree outdoor childhood typical of the 50s and 60s. The most traumatic memory of my childhood was when you were struck by a car as you crossed the road behind a bus in Walmley village. You must have been about seven or eight years old: the first we knew of it was confused reports from neighbours and for a while we were not certain if you had survived. You were badly injured and spent several weeks in hospital and initially I wasn’t allowed to visit you. I was actually frightened when I first visited you because I was told that you were badly scarred. When you finally came home you were given a poodle as a coming home present. You called the dog Pookie.

How we looked forward to Friday nights when dad would come home, having received his pay packet, and armed with sweets. Mum took on lots of part-time jobs in order to save to take us away on holidays in the Summer. Her best job was working at Schweppes on late evening shifts. Dad would take us to collect her so that she would not have to walk home in the dark. Do you remember her bringing Coca-Cola concentrate home for us?

Holidays were special times mostly spent on the farm at Drumdowney playing in the hay barn, collecting eggs or helping with straw baling. I remember caravan holidays at Morfa Beach, Conwy. The stationmaster at Penmaenmawr taught us to pronounce Llanfair­pwllgwyngyll­gogery­chwyrn­drobwll­llan­tysilio­gogo­goch.
The biggest room in the bungalow was the hallway which had parquet flooring. Mum used to tie dusters to our feet and we used to skate around to polish the floor. Jane from next door used to join us. Later on as we grew up we met members of the opposite sex through each other. My boyfriends and your girlfriends paired up. We had so many fun times together, then I went to London and you went to Cardiff and of course we saw each other less often but we had the joy of bringing up our families together.

I still feel you are part of me and I miss you terribly. You brought so much love to this world and this world is a smaller place without you. You live on in those you have touched. God bless my lovely sister.

Posted by Christine Mullen on March 25, 2021
To a very special sister and sister-in-law

When someone as loved, admired and respected as Ceily disappears so suddenly and unexpectedly, the world seems very empty. It is so difficult to capture in words our emotions and the feelings of loss and sadness.

Ceily, we echo all the beautiful sentiments expressed by your family, friends and colleagues in their heartfelt tributes. You were indeed a phenomenon of nature of the like rarely seen: you never wasted time but packed it with energy, dynamism and fun. In times to come it will be a comfort to remember your passion for life and that you lived it to the full.

Ceily, you touched and enriched countless lives. It is wonderful to think how, as a talented, caring and compassionate doctor, you helped, and indeed saved, so many people, including your own brother Will, for which our family is forever grateful. We will never forget your devotion to Albert and Beezie and your unstinting care for Mum in Cardiff. Trained by you, innumerable doctors will be continuing your work and, inspired by you, will remember your skill, wisdom and dedication.

We will especially remember the very happy times we spent together when we were newly married couples and when the children were growing up. You always were full of ideas for fun activities, even though a trip to the ballet ‘Swine Lake’ did not go down so well with young Rhys and David. Thanks also for organising and enlivening those great big family parties. It is so sad that our grandchildren will not know their one and only great aunt but they will certainly hear lots about you.

Your loss is so hard to bear for us all but especially for Roger, Emma, Bethan, Rhys, Carwyn, Jess, Tomos and Henri to whom we send our love. Your spirit lives on through them and in the precious memories they share.

We love and will miss you dreadfully Ceily. God bless you for making the world a better place, RIP.

Posted by Debbie Goodkin on March 25, 2021
Joy and I met Celia and Meryl on our trip to India in 2014. We had such fun with them that I think their company was more memorable than the actual trip. We've also had great fun when we've met up in the intervening years. I can't believe we'll not be able to see Celia again.

Condolences to all the family
Posted by Alexandra Wilowska on March 24, 2021
Cecilia was just one of the loveliest, most caring, people, and meant so much to my mother and hence the rest of us. It is so hard to believe that she is no longer here.
My mother Georgina Smith (now 92) is probably the oldest remaining member of Cecilia’s father Albert’s side of the family. Mum was a first cousin of Uncle Albert – his mother Elizabeth (Lizzie) was an elder sister of my grandmother Florence. By all accounts Lizzie was a lively, sociable character with a keen sense of fun who lived life to the full; perhaps some of those traits were passed down to her granddaughter Cecilia. Unfortunately Lizzie fell ill and died when Albert was just a toddler. Albert then lived mostly with his grandmother (my great-grandmother) until he married Beezie, whom he had met when she was lodging with another relation of ours. Mum always maintained a close connection with Albert and subsequently Beezie too.

My parents settled in North Devon, and from the age of around 12 Cecilia frequently came to visit us (often with brother William of course). I was around 3 when she first came and have looked up to her for as long as I can remember – as a child I always looked forward to her visits; she had that knack of making one feel special, even when it must have been a pain in the neck as an older teenager dealing with us smaller children. The neighbours in Devon even now remember her, especially for a then-very-stylish psychedelic frock that she wore one year! The visits continued all the way through medical school, Cecilia sometimes coming with friends of hers too.

One year (Mum thinks they came for a weekend following a week’s placement at a Devon hospital), Cecilia brought her Welsh boyfriend with her. This was the first time we’d met Roger and of course everyone liked him. My younger brother Peter came straight out over Sunday lunch and said ‘Hey Roger, are you going to marry Cecilia?’ Mum glossed over it with a ‘time will tell’. Time obviously did tell, and in due course we were all invited to the wedding. My little brothers Peter and John made their mark there too; they had each brought a favourite small cuddly toy to the church and had been seated at the aisle end of our pew for a better view. As the newly-married couple walked back down the aisle past us, Peter, impressed by the length of Cecilia’s train, darted out to place his toy companion for a ride on the train, and John followed suit, so Cecilia’s bridal ensemble was enhanced by a couple of passengers!

As I grew up it was lovely to keep in touch with Cecilia. Pretty much the day after I completed final exams in Bristol I went over to Cardiff with my own boyfriend Marek to see the Thomas family and the children (possibly then just Emma and Bethan) flung themselves at Marek and clambered all over him. Perhaps that was their sign of approval as, some years later, I married Marek in Devon with Cecilia and Beezie among the guests. We then moved overseas for a few years then relocated to NE Scotland, so saw Cecilia less frequently in person but stayed in touch, and she was always kind and generous to our own two sons. We were delighted that she and Roger came up to stay with us for a weekend a few years back. Of course, being Cecilia, this was not just an ordinary weekend break but timed so that she could take part with us in the annual Balmoral 10km run in which she left us for dust.

Mum stayed in very close contact with Cecilia and enjoyed their regular phone calls and occasional visits and always updated me with the latest news from the Thomas family. Bethan did a teaching placement in Devon so the tradition of visiting Mum continued with the next generation. Both of my parents had been nurses and enjoyed medical chats with Cecilia and were always interested in her view of particular medical circumstances. She really was a cornerstone of Mum’s side of the family and a fabulous role model for me – although I still don’t know how she managed to pack so much into her life! We are devastated that she has left this world far too soon but we have such fond memories and it was an absolute joy to be related to her.

With much love to you all, from Alexandra Wilowska & Marek, Kazio and Rafał Wilowski
Posted by Clare McDonagh on March 24, 2021
Dear Roger, Emma, Bethan & Rhys

My absolute heartfelt condolences to you all.

Celia was a remarkable woman and a truly inspiring GP trainer. She made General Practice look easy and I feel both privileged and blessed, to have known her. I hope that despite the cruel shock of her sudden and unexpected passing, you can all take comfort knowing it was a ‘light switch moment’ with very little suffering. More, that Celia was getting the most out of life, enjoying a happy whirlwind of family, hobbies, travel, social events and good friends, right up to and including the day she died...

“You can remember her and only that she’s gone or you can cherish the memory and let it live on”

Rest peacefully lovely lady xxx

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Recent Tributes
Posted by Alice McLaren on March 8, 2022
Happy International Women’s Day Celie. You were, and always will be, a true inspiration. We love you and miss you lots xxxx
Posted by Diane O 'Connell on March 7, 2022
You are Still very sadly missed . Still in our thoughts. 

Diane O'Connell
Posted by Devina Brown on March 7, 2022
Celia,

You truly were a Force of nature and your strength enspires me to this day. You are missed every day. The pain never dulls but on the moments when I need it most I think #BeMoreCelia and I hear your encouraging words.
Thank you x
Recent stories

From the weekly National RCGP email

Shared by Emma Williams on April 1, 2021
Dr Celia Thomas

1954 - 2021

It was with extreme sadness that we were informed of the sudden death of our partner Cecilia Thomas on Sunday 7 March 2021. Celia as she was known had been a partner at the practice for almost 40 years. She joined Minster Surgery initially as a trainee GP in 1981 and returned in 1984 as a Partner.  At that time the surgery was based at its original premises on Newport Rd. Celia was part of the team who oversaw the rapid expansion of the practice into St. Mellons in 1985 and the relocation from Newport Rd to its current site on Minster Rd in 1988.  
Celia was always a keen educator of trainee GPs and medical students. She became a GP trainer in 1988 and in 1996 she was appointed as an Honorary Clinical Lecturer for Cardiff University.  For many years she also led a popular study module on medicine in literature for third year students which culminated in an annual visit to the Hay Book Festival. 

During her time as an RCGP trainer she was appointed as the Programme Director of the Cardiff post graduate training scheme in 1990. Providing pastoral support and career guidance to hundreds of trainee GPs. Tributes from former trainees have described her as an inspirational trainer and wonderful teacher and her services to the RCGP were further recognised when she was appointed as a Fellow of the College. 

In addition to her busy professional life Celia also found time to pursue numerous hobbies and interests, she was a keen cyclist, runner, swimmer and skier. She regularly participated in outdoor fitness sessions at 6 am and enjoyed trips to the Theatre.

Celia was a kind, caring and compassionate GP who was able to provide truly holistic care in the best tradition of General Practice. She often seemed to have a 6th sense for getting to the true cause of patients’ problems or sniffing out danger and acting on it. She was always available for advice to clinical and other practice staff. 

Celia was also a loving wife to Roger, mother to Emma, Bethan and Rhys and grandmother to Tomos and Henri. 

She will be sorely missed by all of those who were lucky enough to work with her over the past 38 years and get to know her as a friend and colleague. She will leave a huge hole in the life of our surgeries but of course our deepest sympathies extend to her family at this sad time
Shared by Bethan McMinn on March 26, 2021
It’s so hard to write this as the reality of losing such a wonderful woman in such a sudden, unexpected way has not really sunk in. I cannot imagine how your family are feeling and I am thinking of them a lot and wishing them all the strength and courage in the world. Thank you Celia for bringing so much joy and positivity into all our lives. You were always up for a laugh and a challenge and I had the honour of sharing many with you. The coast to coast event in Scotland stands out as one of the most memorable. I was always in awe of the fact that despite being many years my senior you were so much fitter and you had already had a few Proseccos by the time I finished :-) I also recall you deciding to cycle to Merthyr Mawr session because you’d heard others were doing it and you couldn’t miss out. Even though you admitted to me during the sandune session that you were starting to regret the decision to cycle, you still declined my offer of a lift home. You had to see things through and that’a one of the many qualities I admire about you. I’m not sure if I’ll ever meet such a headstrong, determined, fit and active, sociable woman with such a thirst for life and challenge as you. You are one of a kind and will be forever missed.

Goodbye Mum

Shared by Emma Williams on March 27, 2021
To our exceptional mum (our eulogy read at the funeral

…. from Emma, Bethan and Rhys

Our Mum’s life was exceptional in so many ways.

She was a loving, caring and devoted wife, daughter, sister, mother, mother in law and Nani. She was a compassionate, dedicated doctor, colleague, teacher, mentor and friend to so many. And of course she was a determined athlete taking up marathon running, cycling and triathlons in later life.

And yet, as exceptional as her life was, she never believed that what she did was more than any of us can do.

She shied away from any sort of recognition – we would often find out months later that she had won a triathlon or running event or received a prestigious award for her work as a GP trainer.She was never one to brag about her accomplishments. She was confident; focussed on her own goals and destination – but she was humble; she didn’t need to keep stopping to tell everyone where she was going.

As children, she taught us that we could do whatever we wanted to do in life and there were no limits on what we can achieve so long as we were willing to work hard and persevere.

Hard work was a defining feature of mum. Her work ethic was like no other – you can count on one hand the days she missed off work in 40 years and these few days off were accounted for following enforced recovery periods after back and knee surgery. If the recommended recovery period following a knee operation was 3 months, guaranteed mum would be walking after 3 days.

I remember as a little girl I broke my left arm (I am lefthanded – this is important to the story). It was a nasty break and I was in hospital for a week having metal plates put in my arm. Once I was out of hospital, I was absolutely fine but was hoping for a few extra days off school so I was incredulous when mum explained that I was perfectly well enough to go back to schoolimmediately. I pleaded that there was no point going to school as I couldn’t write anything anyway. Her response…..“you may not be able to write Emma, but you can listen” and off I went to school with Mum reminding me that you “get what you work for, not what you wish for.

As girls, she taught Bethan and I how to be independent, strong and fearless- she was an amazing role model, leading by example and showing us how to confidently be ourselves. Although the proportion of women studying medicine has made significant gains over the decades, female medical students were still in the minority when mum went to university. This did not stop mum who not only went on to be a well-respected GP, working full time at the same practice for 40 years whilst at the same time raising 3 children, she also mentored and trained countless GP registrars providing them with invaluable teaching and guidance so they could further their own careers and fulfil their own dreams.

Lots of people have said over the last few weeks that “her zest for life was contagious.” And so it was. She was 100 miles an hour, not wasting a second of life; filling every moment with family, friends, work and fun. Over the years our house at Lake Road East was a home that hosted numerous parties, countless meals, family gatherings and magical Christmas days full of food, board games, loveand laughter.

Mum never said no to a challenge and her gutsy determination was inspirational (and sometimes a little scary).I remember one year we had signed up to do the Snowdonia marathon – billed as the toughest marathon in Europe. It was late October and the weather was terrible, there was howling wind and torrential rain and significant numbers of people were dropping out the race. The idea of running a marathon in those conditions was awful and I suggested that perhaps we might want to reconsider this as, at the time, we were newbie runners after all. It probably wasn’t even safe I told her. However, quitting was never an option for mum and I remember her telling me that despite the fact that she was “so wet even her knickers were soaked through”that we were going to run it and that was that. So we did. And we lovedit and ran it again and again completing it together numerous times over subsequent years. I spoke to her friend recently and mum was apparently regaling this story about her “wet knickers”on their bike ride on the day she died – she did tell a good story!

Mum made everything fun – our long marathon training runs always ended with a hot chocolate and cake. Once she ran 26 miles to a Vineyard where she stopped for some wine tasting. This ended up being good practice for the marathon we ran in the medoc region of France a few years later, which involved 23 wine tasting stops along the course! If the Snowdon marathon was the hardest in Europe, this was definitely the longest….

Mum had a no-nonsense approach to life – just roll your sleeves up and get on with it. No messing, no fluffiness around the edges. She was “hardcore” as so many people would say yet she was thoughtful, loving and generous and always giving a little more kindness and love than was expected- because it was innate to her.

Mum treated everyone equally and was interested in everyone. She was inquisitive and curious –never afraid to ask questions that showed how much she cared. As a doctor she never gave up, always seeking the best for her patients and was relentless in her search for the underlying causes, answers, and remedies. She was always asking“what else might be going on?” to help explain undiagnosed conditions and was always going the extra mile. She undoubtedly saved countless lives.

As children, Mum was always our greatest supporter. There was a time when Bethan was competing in the Welsh Schools XC championships in the aftermath of a storm. The thick mud covering the course sapped her energy and she slid from side to side as she attempted to ascend the final incline, a narrow muddy track through some trees. Her legs felt like lead and she just couldn’t find her balance; her hopes of making the Welsh team began to quickly fade.....until Mum gave her a helping hand! She reached over the barrier separating the athletes from the spectators and proceeded to give her backside a loving, yet forceful push, helping her to scramble to the top.

In more recent years she supported and encouraged Bethan to follow her dreams and passions. She understood her wanderlust and never once made her feel guilty for living so far away. Instead, she would always look for the silver lining. That was her forte. For her, the physical distance was an opportunity to travel and have exciting adventures together. Bethan said she will never forget the times they shared a sunset yogasession on a rooftop in Kerala, getting lost in the souks of Tunis, climbing waterfalls in Okinawa, and their kayaking escapades in Langkawi.

Mum was always up for anything and would often say that she would try anything once apart from “incest and Morris dancing” which was her favourite quote, often attributed to Oscar Wilde. And Rhys can attest she stayed true to her word on this one!

Recently, Rhys has been spending his free time playing drums in a (very!) heavy metal group called “copehilldown”. Now mum certainly liked music, but more of the sort of ABBA and Celine Dion vibe. Meatloaf or Greenday was probably as heavy as it got for her.

Rhys’ band were billed to play a gig in a small venue called “fuel” in Cardiff, an exclusively heavymetal club containing all the delinquent look- a -likes you could think of. Mum was desperately keen to go, despite Rhysadvising against it as it “probably wasn’t her thing”. Rhys’band played a good set and managed to get a bit of a “mosh pit” going on. After the set one of Rhys’ close friends who attended ran up to him and saidI’m so sorry!!!” Shocked at his remark Rhys asked him what had happened and he told Rhys that mum had proceeded to enter the mosh pit area and had accidentally been elbowed by him in the face!! That was mum, always there to support and encourage her children in any way possible, even if it meant at the expense of her facial bones and ear drums.

As an adult, she became my best friend, advisor and confidante. Her greatest quality was to encourage me to make the best of everything and to face problems head on. She believed that there was no obstacle that couldn’t be overcome. Whenever I wasn’t sure about something, she was always my go to. Always. She was a problem solver…. minutes after my phone call she would be at my door saying “Right Emma…. Let’s think this through….”.  She never let me down. And she believed in all of us even when we did not believe in ourselves. It is hard to believe that she is no longer here to gently persuade us to do what we set out to do with a light but firm hand on our shoulder (or bottom in the case of Bethan).

On New Year’s Day morning this year we got up early and walked to the top of the Garth mountain to watch the sunrise. We sat there discussing all the trips we would have together this year once Covid restrictions were lifted and we could travel again. I can’t believe that we won’t have another adventure together but mum, I promise you we will live life like you did! We will dream big, stay positive, work hard and enjoy the journey until the very end.

As we all start new chapters of our lives, Rhys and Jess getting married, Bethan moving to Seoul and Tomosstarting high school, it breaks our hearts that she won’t be part of these new adventures but we will all treasure the memories we have.

She was a shining example of the very best in humanity and the world is a poorer place without her. She is gone far too soon but she has left an imprint on this world that will never be forgotten.

And as for Bethan, Rhys and I….. JK Rowling said it best “Love as powerful as your mother’s for you leaves its own mark. To have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, will give us some protection forever

As one of her friends recently said, wherever she is, I hope she is still up at 6am to do squats and burpees before work.

Cysga’ndawel mam.

xxxx