Robert Barkley Thomas
Robert Barkley Thomas, 66, of Prices Fork, died unexpectedly Saturday, December 3, 2011. Born in Pittsburgh, Pa., March 11, 1945, Bob was the son of the late Barkley and Margaret Ford Thomas. He graduated from Shelby (North Carolina) High School and attended the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Music was Bob's passion. He was a piano technician and a gifted musician who performed regularly in the local area and beyond. He played bass with No Strings Attached since 1984, the band Mood Swing, and most recently the trio The Triple Bs. Among Bob's survivors are his longtime companion, Patricia Polentz; his daughter, Maggie England and husband, Huiet; and grandsons, Mac and Jake England, of Cramerton, N.C.; sister, Susan Thomas, of Underhill, Vt.; niece, Johanna Hulick and family, of Seattle, Wash.; nephew, Jeremy Hulick, of Bethesda, Md.; aunt, Eleanor DeLashmutt, of Atlanta, Ga.; and several cousins. He will be sorely missed by friends and family and all who appreciated his humor and generosity. The date of a planned memorial celebration will be announced at a later time. Those who wish to make a contribution in his memory could donate to the New Orleans Musician's Relief Fund, the Humane Society of Montgomery County, or the charity of their choice.

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Published by Roanoke Times on Dec. 11, 2011.
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4 Entries
We're thinking of you, Pat. Bob will be missed by many.
Andrea Jones
December 20, 2011
I didn't know Bob personally, more like an aquaintance. I did borrow a contra-bass clarinet from him for a while. He had little information about me as we had never interacted but he loaned me the instrument with no questions asked and the simple request to take care of it. I do hear his name a lot even though I am 'out of the loop' in music these days. My heart goes out to those who knew him well as I know he will be terribly missed, but I ask that you count yourselves lucky that you got to know him well enough to be able to miss him like you do.
John Jones II
December 13, 2011
Pat, you've been constantly in my thoughts. Bob is gone far too early. He was a sweet guy and a terrific musician (and showman) and his death leaves a gaping hole in our hearts and the New River Valley music community. I had no idea when I saw you in the VT library that anything was wrong.

December 4, I compiled pictures of Bob playing in some his many bands, as well as some video and audio clips here: http://bethwellington.blogspot.com/2011/12/if-theres-heaven-bob-thomas-is-playing.html I've added a link to this guest book/obituary, as well as to the New Orleans Musicians Relief Organization and will add more info about the charity Once I've had time to research it. It's a great cause...
Beth Wellington
December 13, 2011
Grieving Bob's passing. Having trouble believing he's gone. I will miss his music and friendship for years to come. Pat, my heart goes out to you.
Kitty Doss
December 12, 2011