Died peacefully in Hilton Head, SC, on December 18, 2013, at the age of 77 after a long battle with MS. He was preceded in death by his wife of 43 years, Judith (Stouffer) Thomas; and his parents, David and Ralphine Thomas. He is survived by his two children, David A. Thomas III and Nicole Thomas Mikoda (William "BJ"); his four grandchildren, Caitlin Thomas Verbitsky (James), Claire Thomas, Travis Mikoda, and Morgan Mikoda; and numerous nieces and nephews; sister, Rita Fardella; and his wife of nine years, Susan Whitman Thomas. David was born and raised in the Moon Twp., PA area. In 8th grade, the Stouffer twins arrived in the small school; always the goal setter, David declared that he would marry one of them. After high school he earned his B.A. from Indiana University. He received his MBA from Pitt, studied in Sweden and also Rutgers. He served in the U.S. Army. He invested the first 25 years of his professional life at Mellon Bank before becoming the CEO of Citizen's Bank in Flint, MI. David was active in the community serving as Pres. of the MI Banker's Assoc. from 1995-96. He was President of the Beaver Falls Chamber, and was active with East Liberty Development Corp and the Urban League of Flint, MI. He retired at age 62 to travel the world with Judy, to pursue his longtime passion to sail the Great Lakes, and to spend time in both Pennsylvania and South Carolina. After Judy's passing, David made his permanent home in Hilton Head where he met and married (at three different ceremonies even) Susan Whitman, also a MS patient. David and Susan enjoyed traveling, especially to Stonington, ME, entertaining friends and building a life together filled with laughter. Together they bravely battled the wicked disease of MS. Maude, their 130 lb. Great Dane service dog, is their fellow warrior. All who knew David were impacted by his charismatic sense of humor. Whether in the board room, the dining room, or in the private moments of those he loved the most, no one could escape his ability to bring his vision of life through humor. He used it to unite people and to draw attention to the important things in his life. Even as he approached his final days, he could be found expressing himself with quirky, perfectly timed remarks that brought people together in difficult situations. The family would like to express sincere gratitude to Lisa Johnson and Polly Rowles who lead a team of selfless people who enhanced David and Susan's life in a profound way. A casual gathering of friends and family will take place on Sunday, January 12, 2014 from 2 to 4 p.m. at Papa J's, 200 Main St., Carnegie. Please bring any photos or memories of David that you would like to share. Appetizers will be served. A Memorial Service will be held at Tide Pointe, Hilton Head, SC at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 1, 2014. In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to the MS Society – Western PA Chapter, 1501 Reedsdale St., Pittsburgh, PA 15233.
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Published in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Dec. 26, 2013