Gerald Thomas
1929 - 2019
Beecher and Bennett Funeral Home - Hamden
2300 Whitney Avenue
Hamden, CT
Thomas, Admiral Gerald E.
Gerald Eustis Thomas, 89, a retired Rear Admiral and U.S. Ambassador passed away on March 20, 2019 in New Haven, CT. He was the second black officer to achieve the rank of Admiral in the United States Navy. Admiral Thomas was born in Natick, Massachusetts on June 23, 1929, the son of Walter W. and Leila L. (Jacobs) Thomas. He received his BA from Harvard University in 1951, and as a member of the NROTC, was commissioned as Ensign upon graduation. As a career officer, Admiral Thomas earned his MS from George Washington and his Ph.D. from Yale University. He held several sea commands including Destroyer Squadron Nine, and Cruiser Destroyer Group Five. He served as Director of the Near East South Asia Region in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense, and from 1978 until his retirement in 1981, commanded the Training Command of the Pacific Fleet.
Admiral Thomas was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Guyana by President Reagan in 1981, and in 1983 was named Ambassador to Kenya. In 1986, Admiral Thomas joined the Yale community in a joint appointment as a Lecturer in the departments of History and African-American Studies. At a later date, he was appointed Master of Davenport College, and served in that capacity for ten years. He held memberships in several professional and social organizations, including Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and the Beta Tau Boule of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity.
Admiral Thomas leaves his wife of 64 years, Rhoda, and their three children: Dr. Kenneth A. Thomas of Woodbridge, CT, Hon. Steven E. Thomas (Pamela Smith, Esq.) of Westwood, MA, and Lisa Thomas Jacobs (Col. Lee Jacobs) of Poway, CA, as well as many loving grandchildren. Friends may visit with the Admiral's family at Beecher & Bennett Funeral Home, 2300 Whitney Ave., Hamden on Tuesday, March 26th from 10:30 a.m. prior to his service, which will begin at 11:00 a.m. Burial with full Military Honors will follow in Grove Street Cemetery, New Haven. Donations in his memory may be given to Parkinson's Disease research. To send a condolence to his family, please see:

Published by The New Haven Register on Mar. 24, 2019.
To plant trees in memory, please visit the Sympathy Store.
Beecher and Bennett Funeral Home - Hamden
2300 Whitney Avenue, Hamden, CT
Beecher and Bennett Funeral Home - Hamden
2300 Whitney Avenue, Hamden, CT
Funeral services provided by:
Beecher and Bennett Funeral Home - Hamden
Sponsored by
Add a Message

Not sure what to say?

4 Entries
Justin LaPorte
July 25, 2019
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
Ophelia Shepherd Owens
March 25, 2019
I did not know the Admiral but I do know an American patriot when I read about or meet one. The personal and selfless sacrifices that he has made to his country are countless and cannot be fully understood, or appreciated by those of us who have not been in his shoes or any like them. Thank you Admiral and your family. May the Lord give you smooth sailing.

Len Gallo
USN 1965-1969
Leonard Gallo
March 24, 2019
I did not know the Admiral,but I do know an American Patriot when I see or read of one. God bless him for all that he has given to his country. Personal Sacrifices that cannot be measured in my feeble attempt to pay respects to a mans man. Rest in peace in the smooth waters of the Lord.
Leonard Gallo
March 24, 2019
Showing 1 - 4 of 4 results