James Philip Thomas, age 83, passed away peacefully at home on Friday Aug. 30, 2013. Jim was born of goodly parents on Sept. 4, 1929, in Union, Ore. He was the fourth child of Howard Meredith Thomas and Erma Anna Wight.
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Jim served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Copenhagen, Denmark, and California. He attended BYU and graduated from Arizona State University. Jim's love for teaching became his passion and profession. He taught at high schools in Arizona, Idaho, Utah and Guam at a young men's academy.
Jim married his sweetheart of 59 years, Rhea Vanessa Sundquist, in the Salt Lake City Temple on Sept. 8, 1954. Jim was a loving, loyal husband and a devoted father of five children.
The best books were never far from his side. He loved reading and writing. Jim was a craftsman; pen and paper were his tools of choice for crafting stories, prose and poetry. In his spare time he enjoyed challenging word games and crossword puzzles. He volunteered much of his own time teaching drama, directing road shows and high school plays.
Jim was a friend to everyone. He had a light in his eye as he always greeted people by their first name, with a warm smile and a handshake. Jim loved and served the Lord faithfully throughout his life; his actions spoke volumes to many whose lives he would touch for good. He was always willing to open his heart and his home to others in need. Jim shared the gospel with anyone who he came in contact with. He honored his priesthood and used it to bless his family and those around him. Nothing was more important to him than faith and family. To his five children, he exemplified love of God and taught principles of charity, compassion and honesty. He served faithfully in many church callings throughout his life. To his family, his greatest calling was that of being Dad.
Jim is preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, David and Joe. He is survived by his sweetheart, Rhea; siblings Thelma Laird, Ray, Steven and Wight Thomas; children Shaunaleen (Jeff) Crapo, Tamara (Brad) Hamblin, James, Chrisanne Wade, Jon (LonaMae). Grandchildren Jeremy (Kristi), Je'Leen, Keely and Aimee Crapo; Andrew, Vanessa and Michael Hamblin; Katie, Kyson and Kyle Thomas; and Sabrina Thomas. Also one great-grandchild Benjamin Crapo, with another on the way.
As children, we always looked forward to Sunday afternoon rides in the country with Dad. We would often hear him say, "Let's see where this road goes." Dad, because of you we know "where this road goes." We love you and miss you. Thank you for bringing us down this road together. Well done, thou good and faithful servant.
Funeral services will be held at noon, Friday Sept. 6, at the Hyrum 10th Ward Chapel, 125 N. 400 West in Hyrum. A viewing will be held from 6 to 8 p.m., Thursday Sept. 5, at the Allen Hall Mortuary, 34 E. Center St. in Logan, and from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Friday at the church prior to services. Condolences and thoughts may be expressed to the family online at www.allenmortuaries.net.
Published in Logan Herald Journal from Sept. 4 to Sept. 5, 2013