Cover photo for Michele R. Thomas's Obituary
Michele R. Thomas Profile Photo
1964 Michele 2021

Michele R. Thomas

October 24, 1964 — December 27, 2021

Michele R. Thomas, 57, of Indianapolis, passed away suddenly at her residence with her family on December 27, 2021. Michele was born on October 24, 1964, in Fort Wayne, Indiana to Richard “Dick” and Kay (Tipton) Prairie. On October 8, 1988, Michele wed Duane A. Thomas in Muncie, Indiana.

Michele was a graduate of Delta High School in the class of 1983 where she played in the band. She went on to graduate in May of 1988 from Ball State University with a degree in Marketing. After her graduation, she wed Duane and they began their family. Michele worked for IU Health for the last 10 years in the IT department as a systems analyst. Prior to IU Health she worked for ATA Airlines and McGraw Hill in technology roles.

A woman of faith, Michele was a loyal member of Camby Community Church where she had served as a deaconess and was very active in bible study and children’s church. Regardless of life’s trials, Michele preached that God had a plan for everyone’s life; she was incredibly faithful. She loved people for who they were and as they came, never judging them for their shortcomings or past.

Michele was generous to a fault; she was generous with her time, resources, and attention. She lived to spoil her family and friends, much rather giving to others than herself. Basking in the sun at the beach and sitting her chair down in the water was something Michele relished in. She also enjoyed putting together her fantasy football teams, winning her first league this year with her championship team “Nana Loves Football”. Michele was a passionate Indianapolis Colts fan.

An incredible cook, Michele loved to make homemade noodles, lasagna, meatloaf, and her famous dirt pudding. She took pride in her cooking because it brought her family together. She enjoyed shopping trips to TJ Maxx and Kohl’s, attending classic rock concerts, keeping up with pop culture, and watching movies. Michele had a plethora of knowledge on movies and could spout a movie quote instantly.

Outside of working, Michele’s most important role was being the rock and foundation for her family. Her children and grandson, Max, were the absolute joy of her life, as well as being a devoted wife to Duane. If you knew Michele, you knew that her family was paramount. If you were loved by Michele, you knew just how lucky you were. Her authentic personality, positive outlook on life, and devotion to those she loved will be sorely missed.

Michele was preceded in death by her father, Richard D. Prairie; her infant brother, Christopher Prairie; and brother-in-law, Kevin Thomas.

Survivors include her husband of 33 years, Duane A. Thomas; her children, Ashley (Joseph) Wilson and Tyler Thomas (Lindsey Gary); treasured grandson, Max Wilson and another grandchild to be born in March; mother, Kay Prairie; her brother, Douglas (Terasa) Prairie; brother-in-law, Chad Thomas and sister-in-law, Sandy Thomas; nephews, Chase Ellinger and Cal Thomas; nieces, Parker Thomas and Lindsey Thomas; a host of friends, and extended family members.

Michele’s Life Celebration® Visitation will be Thursday, December 30, 2021, 4:00 to 8:00 PM, in Camby Community Church, 8604 Camby Rd, Camby, IN 46113. The funeral service will begin at 2:00 PM on Friday, December 31, 2021, in the O’Riley Funeral Home, 6107 S. East Street, Indianapolis, Indiana 46227. Burial will follow in West Newton Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Camby Community Church; envelopes will be provided Thursday and Friday. O’Riley Funeral Home is serving the Thomas family. Please visit to share a favorite memory or to sign the online guest registry.

To send flowers to the family in memory of Michele R. Thomas, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, December 30, 2021

4:00 - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)

Camby Community Church

8604 Camby Road, Camby, IN 46113

Get Directions

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Friday, December 31, 2021

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

O'Riley - Branson Funeral Service & Crematory

6107 S. East St, Indianapolis, IN 46227

Get Directions

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


West Newton Cemetery


Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 20

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Send a Card

Send a Card