POULTNEY - Harold Arthur "Zeke" Thomas, 93, died Jan. 27, 2013.
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He was born Sept. 10, 1919, in Poultney, Vt., the son of Caroline E. (Carr) and Arthur Wilson Thomas. Following the death of his mother at the age of 1, he was raised by his widowed grandmother, Lena Wilson Thomas.
He graduated from Poultney High School in 1938, where he was the center for the first football team at the school.
He served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during WWII, attained the rank of corporal and earned commendations for marksmanship.
On Feb. 14, 1948, he married Sara E. Williams of Raceville, N.Y., at the Welsh Church in Poultney.
When his grandmother married William Roberts in 1928, he began a long career in the slate industry. Together with his grandmother's husband, he owned and operated a slate quarry for several years. Later he worked as a driver hauling slate for Fred Graves then John Hadeka, both in Poultney. His last few working years were spent working in shipping at what is known today as Telescope Casual Furniture.
He was a member and Deacon in the Poultney Baptist Church. He was a member of the Poultney Fire Dept., J. Claire Carmody American Legion Post 39, VFW Post 6364, Order of the Eastern Star Evergreen Chapter, F & A Masons, Morning Star Lodge, and just prior to his death, was presented with his 55-year membership pin. He was a Worshipful Master and had a continued membership in the Past Masters Assoc. He was conferred the Order of the Sword of Bunker Hill. After many years as a Mason, he attained his 32nd degree and joined the Shrine, Cairo Temple in Rutland. He was a member of the Drum and Bugle Corps and the Holiday Sojourners, a group of Shriners who raised money to support the children's hospitals.
He enjoyed hunting and fishing, and was a champion recreational horseshoe pitcher. He also enjoyed camping and was a member of the Good Sam camping club.
Several years ago he moved to Virginia, where he made his home with his daughter Caroline E. (Frank) McKearin of Glen Allen; two granddaughters, Heather McKearin (John) Jackson and Amanda McKearin, a grandson Tyler McKearin, and three great-grandsons Dylan and Evan Jackson, and Gabriel McKearin, all of Virginia. He is also survived by his half-siblings Helen M. Jones, Mary Beebe and Kenneth Thomas, all of Poultney.
He was predeceased by his wife in 1999, an infant son David in 1956, a half-brother Charles Thomas, and a half-sister Gloria Thomas Hoague.
A graveside memorial service will be held Friday, July 5, 2013, at 10 a.m. at Poultney Cemetery (northernmost section).
Memorial contributions may be made to Shriners Hospitals for Children, Office of Development, 2900 Rocky Point Dr, Tampa, FL 33607; (http://support.shrinershospitals.org).
Published in Rutland Herald on July 4, 2013