Looking Back: Roseann Thomas of Morgantown, a community staple

Joe and Roseann Thomas of Morgantown

Anyone who has been very involved in the Morgantown community has certainly crossed paths with Roseann Thomas. It seems she can always be found working behind the scenes of community events and organizations. For those who have wondered how she came to be such an important member of the community, here is her story.

Harry Earl Fillman (7/16/1904) and Jenny May [Horn] Fillman (10/19/1903) were blessed with a baby girl on Dec. 11, 1939 at their home at 611 North Charlotte Street in Pottstown. Roseann was barely 10 years old when her mother died. Her paternal grandmother Annie Miller Fillmans mother was Emma Weiser, a relative of Conrad Weiser. Roseanns step mother had roots in Atlantic City and as a girl she loved the Steel Pier and the wonderful activities of the Board Walk.

She loves vacationing in Disney World and plans to return.

Roseann was with the Pottstown High School Class of 1957, but left school before she graduated. However, still wanting a diploma, she got her GED several years later. She helps with the reunions. She was brought up attending Trinity EC Church in Pottstown. She went to their Sunday school, went to church camp, and was involved in Christian Endeavor and the choir.

She met Joseph Whynn Thomas and they married Feb. 7, 1956. Joe was born Oct. 2, 1937 in Philadelphia. He came to Morgantown as a little boy and was the foster son of Milford R. and Martha C. (Stoltzfus) Hertzler.

Roseann had one brother, Harry Fillman, 87, of Dover, Del., who died Sept. 20.

Roseann is an excellent organizer and volunteers her time helping wherever she can. She helped start the annual Elverson Halloween Parade (ca. 1972) and spent many years as Girl Scout leader. She sang in the choir of the Elverson Methodist Church.

She has helped with parades, is very enthused about local history, volunteers at Hay Creek, is on the Relay for Life committee and Elverson Day committee, is very active in the Morgantown Area Business Association, has been the MABAs Vice President of Marketing for the past two years and had been president of the MABA.

She was the Democratic Committee person in Elverson Borough for about 16 years, but when they moved to Morgantown in 1991, she changed her party to Republican. She joined St. Thomas Episcopal Church. Over the years, the couple has been active in the Elverson Methodist Church, Hopewell Mennonite Church, Morgantown Community Church and are presently active in the Warwick Bible Church in Elverson on Route 82.

In the 60s, Roseann worked in sewing factories, was the Avon Lady for years, a waitress in the Elverson Hotel in the 70s and worked in the Coffee Shop in Morgantown in the late 50s and 60s. She was Party Plan sales person for jewelry, home interior items, vitamins, air purifiers, Amway, childrens books, cookbooks, Tupperware, TLE Oils, Toys and Electrolux. Loving this reliable product inspired them to open the Vacuum store. Their son Joey worked for a vacuum shop at the Market Place and when Joey went into the service, Roseann and Joe joined Electrolux. This repair of vacuums was much needed in the community.

Joe and Roseann started out in a place on Mill Road in a trailer in 1956-57. They rented at the Bull Hotel on the corner of Twin Valley Road and Main Street, a chicken farm behind St. Marys of Providence in 1958-59, bought a school house (the first place after Cold Run Road) from 1959 to 1962, got a cottage in Langoma in 1963, lived in Grahams Mill (Joes grandparents house) from 63 to 67, bought an apartment house across from Mrs. Smiths Pies from 68 to 70, and finally settled in a big blue stone house at 28 West Main Street in Elverson from 1971 to 1991. They bought their present home at 51 Pine Grove Lane in 1991, where theyve lived since. When they moved to Morgantown, she says that it was a quiet little town, but that seems to be in the past.

Roseann loves to dance (although not recently) and loves music, but very much dislikes rap. But she very much likes her Smart Phone; she keeps it attached to her and doesnt know how she ever lived without it. It keeps her in touch.

Joe and Roseann own and operate the A2A Services - Vacuum Sales and Repair business in the very center of Morgantown. When someone asks Roseann how her vacuum business is going, she tells them, It really sucks, but is picking up all the time. Suction is the heart of their business.

When you ask Roseann how she really feels about something, she always firmly lets you know.

Sadly, their beautiful daughter Cindy Lee died on June 7, 2012 at age 55. She was married to Don Mertz in 1976 and had two children: Don Jr., who now resides in Florida with his wife and her two children, and Stephanie (Stambaugh), who lives in Texas with her 7-year-old daughter, Riley.

Joe and Roseann have two other children, as well. Joey (Joe Jr.), of Monocacy, was born in 1958. He has three children: Amanda Blanche, 26, married to Mike Chilla with two children; Jared Whynn Thomas; and Jacob Ray Thomas.

Joe and Roseanns daughter Terri was born in 1962 and is married to Frank Payne. They have two children, Nicholas McDermott, married to Laurel with one son, and Samantha, married to Dale Scroggins with three children.

You can depend on Roseann and Joe to get things done and to get them done right.

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