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October 12, 2013
Claude Elon "Tommy" Thomas, 95, husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, died at home surrounded by his loving family Saturday, October 12, 2013. Tommy was born in Houlka, Mississippi October 28, 1917. He was the son of Claude E. Thomas, Sr. and Clara Brown.
Tommy attended Drawn Business College in Memphis, Tennessee until WWII was declared. He enlisted in the Unites States Army and fought in the European Theatre with General Patton. At the war's end he began his 30 year career with the Georgia Department of Labor. While employed, he continued his College Education, as well as serving as an Army Reservist.
When the Korean Conflict began in 1950 he was called to active duty in Korea where he served until 1953. In 1977, he and Rebecca moved to Fort Myers to begin a new career with the Florida Department of Labor under Lee County Manager Lavon Wisher. He retired a second time after eight years as director.
He is survived by his wife of 71 years, Rebecca Waites Thomas; three daughters, Jean T. Mavrlis (Mark) of Fort Myers; Susan T. Pressly (Jim) of Lake Wylie, SC; Deborah T. Howard of Mount Pleasant, SC; 9 grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren.
The viewing at 10:00 AM will precede the funeral service at 11:00 AM Tuesday, October 15th at First Baptist Church of Fort Myers, 1735 Jackson Street, Fort Myers. Pallbearers will be Tommy's six grandsons; Walter C. Wood, James P. Pressly IV, David R. Pressly, William B. Pressly, T. Lee Howard, Jr. and Adam T. Howard. Honorary pallbearers will be the deacons of 1st Baptist Church. Interment will follow the church service in Fort Myers Memorial Gardens Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to The First Baptist Church of Fort Myers in Tommy's name.
The family wishes to thank the dedicated nurses who took such wonderful care of Tommy.
Condolences and memories may be left online at www.fortmyersmemorial .com.
Published in The News-Press on Oct. 15, 2013