Donald Leonard Thomas, Sr. received his angel wings and passed through heaven’s gate into the waiting arms of the Lord on January 12, 2023. First born of Charles and DeLois, Donald began his earthly journey on September 29, 1949, in Bluefield, WV.
While he grew up attending John Stewart United Methodist Church in Bluefield and was baptized at an early age, Donald’s faith was strong throughout the years, and he enjoyed engaging with just about everyone he met with his philosophic thoughts on faith and religion and his dreams. He had the gift of gab and never met a stranger. Most recently he faithfully attended Shady Grove AME Church in Abbevile, SC, (Pastor Jones).
Donald was a graduate of Park Central High School - Class of 1968. Afterwards he attended Ohio University in Athens where he studied architecture until he went home to assist with the family business after our father went to Heaven in 1969. During the Selective Services Lottery, he was drafted and served in the U.S. Army. After his service he went back home to Bluefield, and always with an entrepreneur spirit, he again helped run the family business, including XL Groceries and The Psychedelic Shack. Donald had BIG dreams. He soon started other businesses including “A Record Shop” and “A Disco (a.k.a. the Elks)” (which he reconstructed himself with a mezzanine style DJ Booth” among other things). He named them beginning with “A” so that when the names appeared in a telephone book they would be listed first). He had big dreams!
Donald spent several years in Las Vegas, NV until moving back to the east coast and settled in Calhoun Falls, SC with his wife Evelyn. Together he and Evelyn were able to make some of his dreams a reality when they opened “Gerald’s” entertainment center. Donald was always working on his “project” and loved constructing and building things. As the saying goes, “an artists’ work is never done” – nor was Donald’s work. There were always more dreams, more ideas and more to do to make it “just right”. And so, “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ ~ Matthew 25:23”…. And he gained his Angel Wings!
Donald was preceded in death by his father Charles D. Thomas, mother, DeLois A. Jones, brother Gerald A. Thomas and sister Deborah J. Thomas.
In loving memory, he leaves his devoted wife, Evelyn Bounds Thomas of Calhoun Falls, SC, son Donald L. Thomas, Jr. (Christie) of Elkridge MD, daughter Kimberly Swanson (Michael) of Las Vegas, NV, his sisters and brother, Sylvia Yarrell of Cincinnati, OH, Charlotte Banks (Twyman) of Blue Ridge, VA, Charles Thomas (Lula) of Charlotte, NC and Deloris Thomas (a.k.a. Dee Dee) of Richmond, VA and his aunt Peggy Hunter of Pittsburgh, PA. Additionally, left to cherish his memory are his grandchildren (Lia, Leo, Kailyn, Michael Jr. and Mikayla), and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, extended family and many friends.
A Memorial and Celebration of Donald’s Life will be held at John Stewart United Methodist Church, Howard Hall in Bluefield, WV on Sunday, January 22 at 2:00 PM.
In lieu of flowers please donate to the American Cancer Society in memory of Donald.
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