JW Thomas, 90, died on Thursday, May 9, 2013, in Stillwater. His memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, May 13, at the First Presbyterian Church with Dr. B. Gordon Edwards and Reverend Leah Hrachovec officiating. Strode Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
JW was born on March 7, 1923, in Nelson, Mo., to James Wesley and Margaret Louise (Morris) Thomas. After graduating from high school in Nelson, he joined the United States Navy where he admirably served his country during World War II. After being honorably discharged in 1945, JW attended air conditioning school in Kansas City, Mo., and later opened an appliance store in Blue Rapids, Kan. He married the love of his life, Mary Rose Hull, on Dec. 18, 1943, in Seattle, Wash. In 1947, the couple moved to Stillwater, and JW went to work for Bradley Plumbing, Electric and Air Conditioning; however, soon thereafter, he was called back to serve two more years fighting in the Korean War. After he returned from Korea in 1952, he attended Oklahoma State University, and eventually opened JW Thomas Electric, Inc. Beginning in 1989, the happy couple started splitting their year between two residences – summers in Stillwater and winters in Florida. He and Mary Rose enjoyed many activities together, most especially golfing.
JW was a member of several fraternal orders over his lifetime which included the Stillwater Masonic Lodge 48, Ingalls Masonic Lodge 128 and the York Rite Masons. He was a life member of the American Legion, being involved for more than 60 years, and was also an elder of the First Presbyterian Church.
He is preceded in death by his parents and two sisters, Kathryn Masek and Dean Shinabarger.
He is survived by his wife, Mary Rose Thomas; son, James C. “Tommy” Thomas, and his wife, Marilyn; son, Jay William Thomas, and his wife, Donna; one sister, Betty Strasbourg; one brother, John Thomas; three grandchildren: John Thomas, Mendy Thomas, and Amber French; eight great grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
Memorial contributions may be made in JW’s name to Judith Karman Hospice at P.O. Box 818, Stillwater, Okla., 74076.
Condolences may be sent and an obituary viewed by visiting strodefh.com.