PLUNK GENEALOGY -- see "Family" label on this blog and/or write Mike at

Monday, August 18, 2008

William H. Thomas

Nov. 22, 1927 – Aug. 18, 2008

My brother, Bill Thomas, died peacefully this evening in Chattanooga, TN. His battle with cancer is over, and he is at peace.

Bill leaves his wife, Betty; three daughters – Ruth, Robin and Roberta; three grandchildren – Marcy, Mitchell and Harry; and his sister, me. He was preceded in death by his mother, Ruth Harris Thomas; his father, William Palmer Thomas; and his son, William Windom Thomas.

My red-headed, story-telling brother loved pulling jokes on folks. He carried a card in his wallet that was special to him. At the slightest (or imagined) provocation, he’d ask waiters, bus boys, bartenders – whoever – “Would you like to see a picture of my pride and joy?” as he flipped open his wallet. There, in one of the plastic photo sleeves was a photograph of a bottle of Pride and a bottle of Joy. It just tickled him to see the surprise and laughter.

When Mike and I were planning our first wedding, I was on the telephone with Bill one day telling him that I was going to be married. Being a generous man, he asked what I wanted as a wedding present. I’ve always been awkward with that question, so I hemmed and hawed and was generally unresponsive. He warned me: “If you don’t tell me what you want, I’m just going to send you an old hot water bottle.” We laughed. End of story. I never gave him a gift idea.

One week later, a package arrived from Chattanooga. It was a hot water bottle. Another week went by, though, and I received a terrific toaster oven which I used regularly until it nearly fell apart.

Bill had a good life. He brought happiness and smiles to many. He will be sorely missed. I encourage you to read his excellent short story, Reesie and the Dream, at It’s a light-hearted tale about his childhood in Mississippi and a cantankerous, old rooster.


Willow Goldentree said...

My thoughts are with you, my friend. I will light a candle for your brother and his beautiful family.


Lacy said...

I'm so sorry about your Brother. :( My thoughts are with you and your family. I enjoyed reading his story that you posted on here.

How ironic, my dad would do the same exact thing about his "pride and joy." I've thought about that often since he passed away. Sounds like my dad and your brother had some things in common, haha.

God Bless.

Marcy said...

Rest in Peace, Grandad. Love, Marcy