HAMPTON - William Hickerson Thomas, Esq. born July 30, 1935, in Birmingham, Ala., was a graduate of Talledega College (BA) and Howard University School of Law (JD), and he was a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. He entered into eternal rest on Sept. 10, 2010.
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His parents, Mr. William and Mrs. Louise Thomas, preceded him in death.
Survivors include his devoted wife, Dr. Shelia J. Maye Thomas; children, Atty. William Thomas Jr. (Melonie), of Atlanta, Ga.; Kimberly Thomas of Maryland, Meredith Thomas of Atlanta, Ga.; Lewis Maye, III (Kimberly) of Virginia Beach, Va.; and brothers, Atty. Harold Thomas (Ann) and Charles Ester (Delores) of Washington, D.C., and Atty. Morris Thomas of California. Also surviving are his beloved granddaughter, Erin Thomas of Atlanta, Ga., many cherished nieces, nephews, friends; beloved mother-in-law, Flora Jackson and caring brothers and sisters-in-law.
He was an honored member of the state bar of Alabama and the District of Columbia. He was admitted to practice before several United States District Courts, and United States Courts of Appeals, and the Supreme Court of Alabama. Notably, he was the first ever African-American federal prosecutor in the Middle District of Alabama. One of the highlights of his career as a legal civil rights warrior was his service as Regional Civil Rights Director in the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, 1980-1991, an appointment by President Nixon.
Another highlight was the establishment of and operation of two restaurants, Wrinkle Belly's Ribs in Metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia. At the time of his passing, he served as the Executive Director of the Hampton University Community Development Corporation.
Funeral service will be held 11a.m. Saturday, Sept. 18, 2010, at Carver Memorial Presbyterian Church. Interment will follow in the Hampton University Cemetery. Viewing will begin at 1p.m. Friday at the funeral home followed by an Omega Service at 8 p.m.
The family wishes to thank the many good Samaritans who came to his aid and all the family and friends who blessed us with their resources.
In lieu of flowers, please make contributions to Talladega College through the Office of Institutional Advancement, 627 Battle Street West, Talledega, AL 35160; or Hampton University through the Office of Development, Hampton, VA 23668, in the name of Atty. William H. Thomas.
O. H. Smith & Son Funeral Home is honored to serve the Thomas family. View and post condolences on our online guestbook at dailypress.com/guestbooks.
O. H. Smith & Son Funeral Home - Newport News
3009 Chestnut Avenue Newport News, VA 23607
Published in Daily Press from Sept. 13 to Sept. 17, 2010