FRED MAURICE THOMAS
It is with deep sorrow that the family of Fred M. Thomas, 84, of Reseda, California, announces his passing on Monday, November 18, 2013. Fred spent his final years battling both Parkinson's Disease and cancer and passed away peacefully with family and friends at his side.
Fred Thomas, son of Fred and Iva Thomas, was born in Memphis, Tennessee on October 12, 1929. He had two brothers Jack and Harry. As a child and young man, he grew up in Hollywood, Florida where he played football in high school and at the University of Miami. While playing trumpet in a jazz band, he met his sweetheart, Bonnie Henjum, who would become his wife and the mother of his children.
Fred joined the U.S. Navy and served his country proudly as a navigator in the Pacific during the Korean War. After his military service, Fred and Bonnie moved to Japan where he worked in radar communications for Bendix Radio. When Bonnie got pregnant, they moved to California to give birth to the first of their three sons.
Fred Thomas lived in California for most of the rest of his life working in marketing and technical writing both in the corporate world and as a small business owner. Fred's business, The Eagles Group, was named in honor of his three sons all achieving the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America.
Fred spent most of his life as a volunteer and leader in his communities, serving on the boards of a number of non-profit organizations and business associations. He was the president of the Chatsworth Chamber of Commerce and vice president of the United Chambers of the San Fernando Valley. In 1988, Fred was awarded the Valley's highest award for volunteerism, the Fernando Award. With one of his sons receiving the award in 2011, they would be the only father and son team to receive the award in its 54 year old history.
Fred M. Thomas will be remembered for his sense of humor, warm personality and community spirit. Because of his faith in the Lord, Fred's family and friends are reassured and comforted by the knowledge that he is with his Savior in Heaven and that they will be reunited with him again one day.
In addition to Bonnie, Fred is survived by his three sons: Fred (and wife Debbie), Gary and John (and wife Shauna). He leaves behind his grandchildren Zachary, Reegan, Brandee (and husband Brandon) and Kristen, as well as great- grandchildren Shane and Summer.
A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, November 23, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. at Oakwood Memorial Park, 22601 Lassen Street (west of Topanga) in Chatsworth. In lieu of flowers, donations are welcome to Fred's favorite charity, the Blind Children's Center, 4120 Marathon Street, Los Angeles, CA 90029 or online at www.blindchildrenscenter.org.
Published in Los Angeles Daily News on Nov. 21, 2013