William Lee Thomas, Jr

 

Image and ribbon, William Lee Thomas, Jr.

On Saturday, August 17, 2019, William Lee Thomas, Jr., loving husband and father of three children, passed away at age 80.

Bill was born August 1938, in White Memorial Hospital in Los Angeles, to William Lee Thomas, Sr. and Luella Thomas.  He was raised by his maternal grandparents and his Uncle Phil and Aunt Ruby.  He went from being an only child to having two cousins, Martin and Sydney as brothers.  Bill attended school at Auburn Adventist Academy and Walla Walla University.  Carpentry was Bill’s occupation, he did everything from roofing to finish work.  He really enjoyed finish work and was able to apply his talents to the many projects he completed.  Also contributed his carpentry talents to charity work.  He shared his life for more than 50 years with a loving and caring woman, Beverly Thomas.

Bill had a passion for music and was very talented. Over the past 50 years, he played piano for his church and nursing homes.  His repertoire consisted of hymns and he especially enjoyed playing, “The Holy City”.  He switched to playing the bass because it was easier to pack than a piano. Bill and Beverly had many shared experiences during those years.  During the latter years, they would entertain with Bill playing on the bass and Beverly on the accordion.  Bill belonged to Washington Old Time Fiddlers and Old Time Country Music based out of Everett.

As a child of Bill’s, you were part of the adventures.  One adventure was canoeing to Whidbey Island with three kids sitting in the middle of the canoe while waving to the ferries. The ferries would wave “hello” by sounding their horns.  Exciting ride with the water only inches from the edge of the canoe. Very exhilarating and a great introduction to an adrenaline rush.  This is one of many memories that reflects Bill’s adventurous nature.  You knew when you were visiting him that it wasn’t going to be boring.  From the introduction to jalapenos to riding motorcycles, never a dull moment.

Bill was preceded in death by his father and mother.  Bill is survived by his wife Beverly, his 3 children, Lorelei (Larry), Louella (Gary), and Bart (Cookie).  There are 9 grandchildren, Celene (Adam), Lynda, Lorraine (David), Renelle (Henry), Eric and Caitlin.   Also 3 great grandchildren, Dehvin, Levi, and Elisa. Cousin Martin and his children, Becky, Gary, and Mathew, and his cousin Sydney’s children, David, Paul, and Ruth.

Please share your memories.

 

He Is Gone

You can shed tears that he is gone,

or you can smile because he has lived.

You can close your eyes and pray that he’ll come back,

or you can open your eyes and see all he’s left.

Your heart can be empty because you can’t see him,

or you can be full of the love you shared.

You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday

or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.

You can remember him only that he is gone,

or you can cherish his memory and let it live on.

You can cry and close your mind,

be empty and turn you back.

Or you can do what he’d want:

Smile, open your eyes, love and go on.

By David Harkins

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