Lifelong Port Townsend resident Ronald Gene Thomas, 58, passed away peacefully at home from a rare form of thyroid cancer on June 7, 2013. His wife, Virginia "Ginny" Thomas, and several family members and friends were by his side at the time of his passing.
He was born on November 28, 1954, to William and Rayetta Jeanne (Magee) Thomas in Port Townsend. He attended school in Port Townsend and was a member of the Port Townsend High School graduating class of 1973.
As a teenager, Ron began washing fuel delivery trucks for his father, Bill, at Thomas Oil Company and worked as a service station attendant at Discovery Bay and Sims Way Texaco during his high school years.
After graduation, he joined his father as a full-time fuel delivery driver at Thomas Oil until his father retired and sold the business in 1989. Ron continued working as a fuel delivery driver for several companies and was employed for the past several years by SC Fuel until he was diagnosed with anaplastic thyroid cancer in December of 2012.
In 1977, Ron married Lauri Campbell, and the couple had one daughter, Michel, in 1980. They were divorced in 1999.
In 2003, he married his wife, Virginia, and the two shared a home in Jefferson County with Virginia's two sons, James and Curtis Sanders, for much of the boys' middle and high school years.
Ron was an active member of Port Townsend Elks Lodge 317. He was also an avid outdoorsman who was particularly passionate about freshwater and saltwater sports fishing. He had taken up fly-fishing in recent years.
His real love, however, was the people he shared his life with: the large and loving circle of family, friends and neighbors with whom he spent his working and leisure hours. He was proud of the fact that he had lived his entire life in Port Townsend, doing a job that brought him into the lives, homes and hearts of so many of his fellow Jefferson County residents.
He is survived by his wife, Virginia of Port Townsend; his daughter, Michel (Vance) Grkov of Seattle; stepsons, James Sanders of Oakland, California, and Curtis (Kindra) Sanders of Port Ludlow; his father and stepmother, William and Sylvia Thomas of Cape George, Washington; brothers William (Gloria) Thomas of Summerville, South Carolina, Michael Thomas of Port Townsend, Donald Thomas of San Ramon, California, and Raymond Thomas of Bellingham, Washington; and grandson Ty Grkov of Seattle.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Rayetta Jeanne Thomas.
A church memorial will be held on Sunday, June 16, at 2 p.m. at Trinity United Methodist Church, 609 Taylor Street, Port Townsend. The service will be followed by a celebration-of-life potluck at 6 p.m. at the Port Townsend Elks Club, 555 Otto Street.
Published in The Peninsula Daily News on June 13, 2013