On July 4th, Joseph Raymond Thomas, son of the late Leslie and Rose Thomas, was hailed out by the boom of fireworks through the gates of heaven. Born September 23, 1932 in Wilkes-Barre, PA, he lived a very full 80 years. After attending Penn State University
he went on to Embry-Riddle Flight Academy to become a commercial pilot. Over the course of his career he flew transport during the Korean Conflict
, but the highlight being his time spent as the captain of the 747. He met the love of his life, Elizabeth, sitting on a suitcase under the wing of a plane. They moved to San Antonio in 1962 and married in 1964. Together they made a wonderful, loving home for their 3 children. As a family man he took great joy in sharing his love of the outdoors with his family and many friends with frequent hunting and fishing trips, he instilled this joy in all of his kids. His love of the Lord was exemplified in his life as well, being a member of the Church of Reconciliation since 1973. In the early days there he served by helping transform the Barracks into nursery space for the growing congregation and later served not only on the Men's Breakfast team but helped anytime the kitchen was needed for an event and was the Lead Usher for many years. Joe was a light to all he met with his charm and quick wit. He is preceded in death by his siblings: Eddie, Robert, Ernie and Peggy. He is survived by his loving wife Elizabeth; his children Joe Thomas, Wayne and his wife Becky Thomas, and Karen and her husband Jim Albright; as well as the lights of his life, his grandchildren: Juliana and Paige Cody, Joshua Reigle; Angelique, Sydney and Colton Thomas; and Kelly and Charlie Albright. The family extends their sincere thanks to Dr. Manuel Santiago, the nurses at Methodist Hospital that cared for him, all of the staff at Heartland Health Care Center, everyone at Harbour Hospice and all of the friends that have extended their love and support on this journey.
A memorial service is planned for July 20th at 10 a.m. at the Church of Reconciliation, 8900 Starcrest Dr., San Antonio, TX.
In Lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be directed to The Church of Reconciliation.