NORMAN — Jim and Karen Thomas met the day before classes began in 1962 at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater.
Karen was entering as a freshman, having grown up in Cushing. Jim grew up in Jackson, Miss., but came to Oklahoma to enter graduate school in counseling psychology.
They were introduced to each other by a mutual friend, and it was love at first sight. Jim and Karen were married Aug. 24, 1963, in Cushing at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church.
After the wedding, they moved to Spartanburg, S.C. Jim finished his internship to complete his master’s degree, and they returned to Stillwater. Karen completed her teaching degree in elementary education. She later finished a master’s degree in elementary education at the University of Oklahoma.
The next move was to Edmond. Jim worked in state government and Karen taught in Oklahoma City at Dewey Elementary. She taught for two years before their first child, Bret, was born. She stayed home with her children until Kristen, their second child, was in first grade.
They moved to Norman in 1974. Bret was born in Oklahoma City and Kristen was born in Jackson, Miss. Jim worked at the cabinet level for three different governors, then completed his career at the University of Oklahoma. Karen taught for 26 years at McKinley Elementary in Norman.
Bret and his wife, Yanira, live in Norman with their two daughters, Rosemary and Jacqueline. Kristen and her husband, Anthony, live in Port St. Lucie, Fla., with their daughter, Addison.
In retirement, the couple enjoy traveling. Jim’s hobby is competing in clay target sports. Karen continues to teach as a substitute and enjoys movies and bridge.
They look forward to many more memories together.