George Edward Thomas was born on March 28, 1926, in St. Joseph, LA and passed away peacefully on February 17, 2021, in Hendersonville, NC. Part of a large family in a small, Louisiana delta town, "George Edward" or "Brother" grew up alongside siblings and cousins. The eldest of his generation, he was considered the big brother and father figure to his lively, beloved Clarke family. He attended Davidson High School, and in 1943, at the age of 17, enlisted in the United States Navy. He attended naval officer training programs at Millsaps College and the University of Notre Dame and saw active duty in the Pacific Theater during World War II and in the Korean War. After serving his country, George worked as a construction engineer in north Louisiana building levees along the Mississippi River. He met his wife Sally during his early years as an insurance salesman; they lived in New Orleans where they raised their daughter Sarah and, after his retirement, relocated to Saluda, NC. George was an avid lover of nature, and whether in city or country, could be found outdoors tending the garden, pruning his bonsai and, in retirement, raising bees. He loved sharing the wonders of nature with his grandson, Robert. George was known for his sense of humor, integrity and genuine interest in others. Ever the gentleman, he had a gift for making people feel good. George is survived by his wife Sarah Scott "Sally" Watson Thomas, daughter Sarah Scott Thomas, grandson Robert Edward Eckstein, son-in-law Robert Collin Evans, step-granddaughter Sophie Elizabeth Evans, brother "Mickey" Thomas and many of his Clarke family cousins. George was predeceased by his parents, Joseph Edward Thomas and Wealthy Ann Thomas, and his sister, Elizabeth Ann Lambert. The family expresses deep appreciation and gratitude for the friendship of his buddy, Mike Simcox, and the assistance of his caretakers. We cannot overstate the importance of the smiles and kindness they offered during his final days. A private memorial service was held at the Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration in Saluda, NC. Donations in his memory may be made to a charity of your choice
or the North Carolina Arboretum Society.