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Peter Thomas

1924 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Peter Thomas Obituary
Peter Addenbrooke Thomas

Peter Addenbrooke Thomas, long time resident of Naples and Greenwich, CT, passed away on April 30, 2016, surrounded by his children. Born in Pensacola, FL in 1924, Peter was the son of John D. Thomas, a Presbyterian minister from Wales, and Sybil A. Thomas, a schoolteacher from England.

Peter served with the Army's 1st Infantry Division in Europe during World War II, fighting in five campaigns including the Battle of Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge. He was awarded the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, the Unit French Croix de Guerre and Belgian Fourragere.

In 1946 Peter married his high school sweetheart, Stella Barrineau, in Pensacola, FL. Peter and Stella were married for 68 years. Stella died in Naples in 2014. She was the love of his life and his greatest supporter.

Peter was a renowned voiceover narrator. His career began at 15 when he was hired as a cub announcer at the Pensacola radio station. After he and Stella were married, they moved to Mobile, Alabama where Peter worked as a television announcer. The following year, he was hired as a television personality in Memphis where he was best known as the star of the comedy show "The Unhandy Handyman".

In 1951 he was offered to audition for WCBS in New York, and was hired to anchor the New York television local news, broadcasting live from Grand Central Station.

Peter left CBS in 1962 to pursue his growing career as a voiceover narrator, recording radio and television commercials, industrial films, medical narrations and documentary films. In a short time, he rose to the pinnacle of an industry in which he remained for decades, working into his 90's. His career in broadcasting spanned over seventy years.

Peter was the voice of national commercials like Coca Cola, IBM, Exxon, United Technologies, Burger King, and ESPN, to name just a few. He narrated countless documentaries, including narrations for Nova and the 1996 Oscar winning documentary "One Survivor Remembers". He is probably best known for the long running series "Forensic Files" which is still on the air after nearly 26 years. Of the many accolades he received, the one that meant the most to Peter was winning his industry's top honor, The International Television and Radio Association's Lifetime Achievement Award. In Naples, Peter was the recipient of the Naples International College Humanitarian Award.

Peter was devoted to remembering those who fought in World War II, especially those soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice. He served on the board of the National D-Day Memorial.

Peter is survived by his three children: Elizabeth Joyoprayitno, Peter Thomas Jr. and Douglas Thomas, as well as his son-in-law Yon Joyoprayitno. He has seven grandchildren: Kristin Thomas-Senior, John Joyoprayitno, Peter Thomas III, Derek Joyoprayitno, Trevor Thomas, Cora Thomas, and Henry Thomas, as well as two great-grandsons, George Thomas Joyoprayitno and Hudson Thomas-Senior.

A memorial service celebrating the lives of Peter and Stella Thomas will be held on Friday, May 20 at 5:00 p.m. at Naples Community Church.

In lieu of customary remembrances, please consider memorials in Peter's name to Naples Community Church, The Conservancy of Southwest Florida, Naples Historical Society, The National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, VA, or a charity of your choosing in memory of Peter.

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Published in Pensacola News Journal on May 5, 2016
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