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Oct. 8, 1932 - July 23, 2012

Norman Lee Thomas, 79, went to be with the Lord on July 23, 2012. Norman was born October 8, 1932 in Carrier Mills, Illinois, to William and Mary Thomas. Norman and his beloved wife, Frances (Freire) Thomas, were married April 25, 1952 and recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.
Norman served four years with the U.S. Navy as an Airman stationed in French Morocco and Washington, D.C. After being honorably discharged in 1955, he settled into his second career at The Gas Company in El Centro, retiring after 42 years.
Blessed with many talents and interests, Norman enjoyed square dancing with his wife, sports and off-road adventures with his children, and many memorable family vacations. His hobbies included fishing, cooking, playing his guitar, Ham radios, and spending time with his large circle of friends and family. After receiving Christ, Norman was baptized at El Centro First Assembly of God, where he became an active member and served several years as a deacon. Together, Norman and Frances touched many lives through their faith and commitment to the Lord. Norman's exceptional gift of sharing his faith will be celebrated by the many he touched on his journey through life.
Norman was preceded in death by his eldest son, William Thomas. He is survived by his wife, Frances; sons, David Thomas (wife, Carole) and Jerry Thomas (wife, Maria); daughter, Sherry Quinn (husband, Mike); daughter-in-law, Mary Thomas (late husband, Willie); brother, Donald Thomas and sister, Virginia Kingston, of Harrisburg, Illinois; 11 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, July 31, 2012 at Hems Mortuary in El Centro. A celebration of Norman's life will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday, August 1, 2012 at First Christian Church, located at 450 South Waterman Avenue, in El Centro.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests those who wish to honor Norman to send donations in his memory to First Christian Church.

Published in Imperial Valley Press Online from July 29 to July 30, 2012
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