JavaScript is disabled or not supported! MCC News - Johnnie Thomas - Miles Community College
Close Pop-upClose Pop-up

MCC News


In honor of Black History Month, Miles Community College will be remembering Johnnie Thomas on Tuesday, February 27, 2018 at 6:30 pm in the Judson H. Flower Library on the MCC campus as part of the Library Lecture Series. Thomas was a beloved member of the Miles City community. Individuals that knew Johnnie will be sharing stories of her legacy and lessons that we can all take and learn from in our community.Johnnie Thomas

According to Johnnie’s obituary from Stevenson & Sons Funeral Homes:

Johnnie was born in Talladega, Alabama, and grew up in Tuskegee, AL, until she left for Drake University. There she became the first African-American student to live in a dormitory. After earning a bachelor of fine arts degree, she returned to Tuskegee to pursue a Masters in Speech Therapy; where she met her future husband, Bunky, on a blind date.

Miles City was an important part of Johnnie’s life, especially because of the warm reception she received after her husband's death. She was an active supporter of the Custer County Arts and Heritage Center. An invited speaker through the Montana Speakers Bureau, she received the 2007 Montana Governors Humanities Award. Her dynamic zest for life and ability to see the humor and positives in tough situations caught the eye of PBS, the New Yorker, and many prominent media after she was put on the FBI no fly list. She made that folly into adventure.

After her cancer diagnosis, she authored the book, Saints and Sinners and had been working on her second book, Growing Up Black In Montana. She lived every day to the fullest, seldom complained in the face of adversity, and had a knack for meeting people wherever she went. Never shy with a quip or comment, she benefited from the kindness of a town that cared deeply for her and she made it clear she wanted her life celebrated, not her death mourned.

The library speaker series brings cultural events to Miles City several times throughout the year, hosting diverse speakers presenting on a variety of subjects--often through a partnership with Humanities Montana. The Judson H. Flower Jr. Library speaker series at Miles Community College is always free and open to the public.