RALPH MORRIS THOMAS - CHARLOTTE - Ralph Morris Thomas, of Charlotte, passed away on April 7, 2014, in Fletcher Allen Health Care. He was born in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., on May 13, 1923, the fourth of six sons of Ellsworth Fiske Thomas and Alice Morris Thomas. Ralph graduated from Poughkeepsie High School in 1941. He served in the Army Air Corps during World War II. After his military service, Ralph attended Drake University and later in his career also attended Trinity College. In April 1984, he married Carol Carpenter-Thomas and they have resided in Charlotte for over 30 years. Ralph started his career as a tool and die maker and was employed by IBM for over 44 years. He had worked in various roles including engineering and procurement in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., Boulder, Colo., and Lexington, Ky. He retired in 1981 and enjoyed varied hobbies including golf, skiing, barbershop singing, and performed many roles in theatre including Lyric Theater. He was a member of the American Legion Post 14, and was an avid follower of University of Kentucky basketball and UVM hockey. Ralph also loved to travel and recorded his memories of each trip in journals. He and Carol made many trips to Hawaii to visit family. Ralph is survived by spouse, Carol Carpenter-Thomas; his son, Arthur Thomas and wife, Dawes, of Lexington, Ky.; brothers, Harold and Bob; and six stepchildren, David Carpenter (Brenda) of Charlotte, Donald Carpenter (Jude) of Charlotte, Stephen Vantine (Susan) of Montpelier, Susan Willard (Michael) of Underhill, Robert Carpenter of North Ferrisburgh, and Catherine Sato (Sanford) of Waimanalo, Hawaii. Papa Ralph is also survived by 15 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his daughter, Mary Lu Sydnor; and brothers, Richard, Drew and Herbert. A memorial service will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 12, 2014, at the Trinity Episcopal Church in Shelburne. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made to the Lyric Theatre. Please contact 802-658-1484 or via e-mail: director@lyrictheatrevt.org.

Published in The Burlington Free Press on Apr. 10, 2014