BOARDMAN, Ohio – There will be a memorial service at 12:00 Noon, Saturday, January 6, at Westminster Presbyterian Church for Robert D. Thomas, 95, who died early Monday morning, January 1, at Select Medical, Boardman.
Robert was born January 20, 1922 in Clarksburg, West Virginia, a son of the late Howard H. and Edith (Austin) Thomas, coming to the Youngstown area in 1930.
Robert graduated from South High School and attended Youngstown State University.
He entered the U.S. Navy in April 1943. He went to Great Lakes Naval Training Station for basic training. He then attended naval radio school from which he graduated a petty officer 3rd class. After radio school, Robert attended beach battalion training in Florida. After completion of training, he was assigned to the USS Adair APA-91, as a radioman and a member of the 9th Beach Battalion. During the war he would go ashore with the first wave at Leyte and Lingayen Gulf in the Phillipines and at Okinawa. Afterwards, with the rest of the ship Robert would participate in securing China and Korea after the Japanese surrender. Robert remained a part of the Naval Reserve after the war. He was recalled for duty in Korea after the invasion of South Korea by North Korean forces in June, 1950. He was stationed out of Yakasuka, Japan from which he participated in Operation Christmas Cargo, the evacuation of U.S. forces from the port of Hung Nam, North Korea. He took 30 days leave after finding out all U.S. forces tours of duty were to be extended one year to travel back to the states to marry his fiancée, Norma McCully. Robert was discharged from the Navy in June, 1952.
He worked in the credit department for Truscon Manufacturing division of Republic Steel for 25 years and then worked at General Motors, Lordstown for 16 years, retiring in 1988.
Robert was a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church, where he served as a deacon, sang in the choir and was a member of the Mariner’s and Men’s Group. Robert volunteered for Needle’s Eye Christian Counseling Center and served on the Executive Board of South Side Ministries.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 62 years, the former Norma McCully, whom he married September 1, 1951; his son, Mark R. Thomas and three brothers, Willard A. Thomas, Richard W. Thomas and Neil R. Thomas.
Robert leaves his daughter, Christine R. Thomas of Twinsburg; two sons, James R. (Lynne) Thomas of Salem and GySgt. David C. Thomas of Youngstown; his daughter-in-law, Colleen Thomas of Toledo and his grandchildren, Matthew R. Thomas and Rhiannon C. Thomas.
Friends may call from 11:00 a.m until the time of the service at 12:00 Noon on Saturday, January 6 at the church.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be given to the Westminster Presbyterian Church Memorial Fund, 119 Stadium Drive, Youngstown, OH 44512.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Lane Family Funeral Homes, Anstrom Chapel. Family and friends may send condolences at www.lanefuneralhomes.com.
A television tribute will air Thursday, January 4 at the following approximate times:
12:25 p.m. WKBN, 6:58 p.m. on MyYTV and 10:37 p.m. FOX plus two additional spots throughout the day.