John Eddie Thomas
1944 - 2020
John Eddie Thomas, 75, of Gary, IN, passed on peacefully, at his Merrillville residence, on July 23, 2020. John was born September 22, 1944, in Rankin County Mississippi, to the late Simon Thomas and Ruby Harper. He spent his childhood exploring the back woods of Mississippi and some of his fondest memories were of his times at the Piney Woods School. John moved to Gary, IN, in 1963 and attended Roosevelt High School. He enlisted in the Army in June of 1965. He proudly served his country, fighting in the Vietnam War, until June of 1969. John spent some time in Milwaukee, WI before moving back to Gary, IN, where he worked for the Bethlehem Steel Corporation, for almost 30 years. John was preceded in death by his siblings, Vernon Thomas Sr, Simon Thomas Jr, Mary Dumas, and Larry Thomas. He is survived by his siblings, Dorothy Holmes, James Thomas, and Carolyn Beckwith. John left his legacy with his children, William (Billy) Harbison, JoAnn- Walker Thomas Coker (Brandon Coker), Cami Thomas, John Enos Thomas, and his grandchildren, Akaya Coker, Brandon (Noa) Coker, Rubi Peterson, Ajani Thomas, and River Thomas. John will be remembered fondly by Gail Thomas and his close relatives and friends. He will be missed by all. John's wishes were to be spread near his beloved Piney Woods School. Due to current Covid 19 restrictions, a memorial will be planned for a later date. For information on where you can go to pay your respects and future memorial activities, please consult John's Facebook page.

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Published by Post-Tribune on Aug. 5, 2020.
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10 Entries
There aren't enough words. From cradle to grave you were such a huge influence over my life. I learned so many lessons through you. I am grateful. We were always connected even when we weren't around one another, somehow knowing when the other was in trouble. And no matter the time or space we rode for each other. We fought each other, cried with one another, laughed and went through the good bad and ugly together. When I was younger you were the black super man, to me. As I got older and saw you were just a man, I loved you no less. I loved that we could tell each other like it is, never mincing words. I love that we trusted one another to the extent that either of us can trust. I love how even if we felt wronged, we worked to mend it and make it right. I accept that apology daddy, I hope you accepted mine.
When I think of you now, I know you have peace. I felt it the moment I saw you for the last time. I felt your spirit go, before your body went along for the ride and even tho I never imagined me without you, this time I was cool with you leaving. I know you are forever with me in heart and spirit. So thank you dad, for all of it. The words don't exist to do justice to the complexity of what we were. But know that you will continue to live on in my heart and I will pass on all the lessons I have learned from you. Never gone, definitely not forgotten.
JoAnn Coker
August 14, 2020
Loved John like a brother and apply his wisdom to my life today. He will be missed.
Glen & Ranell Lazzeri
August 14, 2020
My Sincere Condolences to John's family.
Angela Kincaide
August 14, 2020
Rest in Peace my brother. Many memories all good be with God.
Charles Eichelberger
August 13, 2020
John was a good man. He will be missed for sure.
Jeff Wiesemann
August 13, 2020
To a great friend
John and I spent a lot of time together, working shift work in the steel mill, hunting, fishing,camping, boating. We had long meaningful discussions of spiritual, political, family, and life.
Having met family and friends of each other, we became closer than brothers. We both knew veterans of Vietnam, who sacrifice more mentally than physically. The world changed but it’s still the same!!!
Rest In Peace my Brother, and Thank you for your Service!
Ernie Lee
August 13, 2020
JOHN & I were a great working team, together for 25 years. We remained close after divorcing in 2006. His memory will remain strong to all who cared for him.
When John and I first started seeing one another, one of our favorite things was to park on a busy corner, mostly Broadway & Ridge Road, and watch people. We would analyze and speculate about their coming and going... we could do this for hours. I know John has positioned himself in a good spot to watch people. One of his favorite sayings he would use to admonish people would be to say "don't listen at what people say, watch what people do".
Gail Thomas
August 13, 2020
I would like to say first that my cousin John felt more like my uncle. From a little girl to a grown woman, I can remember him always being around. One thing I do know about him for sure, is that he loved his family and his children to death. He would do just about anything for them. He reminds me of my dad in so many ways; guess it runs in the family. John was smart, funny and would tell you like it is quick, with know regrets. Another thing I know for sure is that he will be truly missed. Love you cousin; rest in Heaven
Tasha L Johnson
August 6, 2020
BOY SAY uhm....... hey there Brandon im doing for a man my age. I know we didn't have the deepest conversations and I never truly knew thus until your passing but you taught me alot of things that was never in perspective for me I guess all in all I'm gonna miss my father-in-law and all his wayz which made him. BOY SAY
Brandon Coker
August 5, 2020
So sorry for your loss. I know you all were there for John and his care. Bless you all. My condolences.
Ginny Sullivan
August 5, 2020
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