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William D. "Bill" Thomas
Oct 3,1925 -Dec 24, 2008
Posted by: Becky Rodgers
William “Bill” D. Thomas, 58 year resident of Ponca City, died peacefully
at his home on Wednesday, December 24, 2008. He was 83.
Bill was born the son of Alexander Jefferson Thomas and Foy May (Davis)
Thomas on October 3, 1925 in Comanche, Oklahoma. He graduated from
Stillwater High School after spending his early teenage years living in the
Stillwater Fire Department where he was known as “Pup”. He later became one
of the youngest firemen. Bill served in the United States Navy during WWII
and was in fire control on the WWII Destroyer U.S.S. O’Brien.
He married his high school sweetheart, Shirley Lee. Bill attended Oklahoma
State University where he set records as a high-jumper on the track team.
After graduating from OSU, Bill and Shirley moved to Ponca City where he
started his 30 year career with Conoco. He was the first commercial artist
employed by Conoco.
Convincing others at the Conoco Gymnasium that his middle name was actually
“Dynamite”, Bill became known for his athleticism, frustrating many with his
table tennis prowess and impossible-to-return serve and with his
preposterous ability to earn lunch by beating unsuspecting youngsters on the
basketball court at “HORSE” or betting them that he could kick the 7-foot
high wooden beams. After retiring from Conoco, Bill owned and operated The
Graphic Center, an art and graphics supply shop for 14 years where he became
known for his free candy and warm smile.
Bill was a mentor, hero and father to his children, Paula and Jeff, and
beloved husband to Shirley for 53 years until her passing in 1999. Always a
servant to the community, Bill was an active member of the Ponca City Noon
Bill met and married the second love of his life, “Sweetie” Glenda Sue
Thomas in 2001, with whom he shared his last blissful years, inseparable to
He is survived by his second wife, Glenda; daughter, Paula Lahann and
husband, Richard of Nashville, Indiana and son, Jeffrey Thomas and wife,
Jill of Colorado Springs, Colorado; five grandchildren, Jason and Lucas
Elmer, Tiffany, Laura and Jeffrey Thomas; two great grandchildren, Keelin
Elmer and Caleb Crawford; three nieces, Gwen Margolis, Georgia and Laurie
Thomas; one nephew, Thomas Carment; and one step-son, Glen Jose Noval.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents; two sisters, Helen Marie Carment
and Lena Cadwell; one brother, Jefferson Thomas; and one stepson, Michael
Noval. He will be missed... and remembered warmly.
A funeral service will be held at 10:00 a.m., Tuesday, December 30, 2008 at
the First United Methodist Church. Interment will follow at Resthaven
Memorial Park Cemetery under the direction of Grace Memorial Chapel.
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