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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 Lions Club.

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 the end.

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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