Cover photo for James Thomas's Obituary
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1933 James 2016

James Thomas

March 19, 1933 — August 17, 2016

James “Jim” Terry Thomas, 83, of Penn Laird passed away Wednesday, August 17, 2016 at his home.

He was born March 19, 1933 in the Back Creek Community of Highland County, a son of the late W.H. (Tom) and Grace (Duncan) Thomas.

Jim attended Monterey High School, Warren County High School and Blue Ridge Community College.  He served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean Conflict.  He had a long and varied career in mechanical engineering and manufacturing.  During his career he worked for numerous companies including Bethlehem Steel, American Safety Razor, Even’s Products, Thalhimer’s Department Store, Maphis Chapman and Proctor Silex, retiring from Merck & Co., Inc. in 1996.

Surviving family members include his wife, Shirlene (Woods) Thomas, whom he married, November 22, 1955; two daughters, Terena (Thomas) Gayle, and Vickie (Thomas) Kinkead and husband, Richard; granddaughter, Tammy Renee Gayle and wife, Mona; as well as many beloved nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, Gene Thomas and his sister, Joyce (Thomas) Benfield.

A memorial service will be held 2 p.m., Sunday, August 28, 2016 at Obaugh Funeral Home in McDowell with the Rev. Andre Crummett officiating. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service.

Burial will be private in the Monterey Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association or the American Lung Association or the American Cancer Society.

Charitable donations may be made to:

American Lung Association

American Heart Association


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James Thomas, please visit our flower store.


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