BELLVILLE: Gentle, kind, and reserved, Gilbert C. Thomas was loved and revered by many. A man of few words, when he spoke he commanded the attention of the room, as one came to expect either words of wisdom or experience significant comic relief. His wit and spark made his presence a joy—qualities his family will miss the most.
Gilbert Thomas left us on a beautiful and sunny Thursday afternoon, August 14, 2014, in his Bellville home surrounded by family after a short battle with cancer. He was 70.
Born August 4, 1944 to the late Gilbert L. and Beulah (Crouch) Thomas in Kentucky, Gilbert was proud to serve his country by joining the US Army where he served for over six years and was at one time stationed in Germany. In the years to follow, he made a career of truck driving, first by independent ownership, then by joining PPG, and later Holland Trucking, which he retired from in 2006. In 1987, he began dating a wonderful young lady named Sharron and they married in November 2001.
His quirks were admirable and innumerable: he collected anything branded John Deere; had a new-found addiction to Garrett's Popcorn from Chicago; tormented the waitresses—in good humor—nearly every day at his favorite restaurant, the V&M in Bellville; and he had his very own chair at the head of his kitchen table. Those who knew him could always count on a unique set of idiosyncrasies and a beautiful sense of humor.
Gil had a big heart, offering help where and whenever possible. His reliability for fixing, hauling, building, or showing up "just because" was unmatched. He gave selflessly to others and was a tireless supporter of the underdog. Among his favorite hobbies, he enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren and teaching them life skills, like shooting rifles or driving tractors while always encouraging them about the importance of an education. Gil very much enjoyed traveling to the mountains, beaches and an occasional casino. He supported most all lotteries, and will be missed as a bench warmer at the upcoming Bellville, Worlds Fair.
Gil is survived by his loving wife, Sharron Thomas of Bellville; a son, Gilbert (Charlene) Thomas, Jr. of Texas; step-children: Rick Rister of Texas, Jason Rister of Texas, Kelly (Phil) Ladigo of Ga., and Ronda (Marc) Beasley of Mansfield; more than a dozen grandchildren; siblings: Patricia (Larry) Blakeman of N.C., Mike Thomas of Ohio, and John Thomas of N.C.; numerous nieces and nephews; and a host of good friends, most especially the close friends he made as a driver.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by step daughter Kimberly Golder and a brother-in-law Ronald Boyce.
While he will be missed in many ways, he will be greeted in good company. His family knows he continues to work hard, and will finally get to see his Mother- in- Law in a pair of overalls, an inside joke between the two.
The family will received friends 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, August 18, 2014 at Snyder Funeral Home, 81 Mill Rd., in Bellville. A graveside committal service will immediately follow in Bellville Cemetery at 1:30 p.m. with Celebrant Jerry Wilson officiating.
Contributions in his memory to MedCentral Hospice can be sent to the funeral home: P.O. Box 3085, Mansfield, Ohio 44904.
Snyder Funeral Homes is honored to serve Gilbert's family and encourage you to share a fond memory or message of condolence to them at SnyderFuneralHomes.com