Thome's mother dies of cancer

Posted: January 06, 2005

The mother of Phillies slugger Jim Thome died yesterday afternoon.

Joyce Thome, 68, died peacefully at home in Peoria, Ill. She had battled cancer for a year.

"She was a wonderful woman," Andrea Thome, Jim's wife, said last night. "She was so much more than a mother-in-law. She was a great friend. We sat at so many games over the years and shared so many laughs. I can't tell you how much she'll be missed."

Doctors diagnosed her with lung cancer last winter, but Mrs. Thome made it to the Phillies' home opener in April. Jim Thome called it the most special opener of his career.

"She's been to all my openers," he said in April. "She kept saying, 'I'm going to be there.' She's always saying, 'I'm on your shoulder. I'm on your shoulder all the time.' "

Mrs. Thome is survived by her husband, Chuck, five children and 15 grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements were incomplete. Donations can be made in her memory to the Children's Hospital of Illinois in Peoria.

Contact staff writer Jim Salisbury at 215-854-4983 or jsalisbury@phillynews.com.

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