Claude Thomas


FORT MYERS, Fla. – Claude Elon “Tommy” Thomas, 95, died Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013, at his home. A husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, he was born in Houlka on Oct. 28, 1917, the son of Claude E. Thomas Sr. and Clara Brown. He attended Drawn Business College in Memphis until World War II was declared. He enlisted in the U.S. Army and fought in the European Theatre with Gen. Patton. At the war’s end he began his 30-year career with the Georgia Department of Labor. While employed, he continued his college education, as well as serving as an Army Reservist.

When the Korean War began in 1950, he was called to active duty in Korea where he served until 1953. In 1977, he and his wife, Rebecca, moved to Fort Myers to begin a new career with the Florida Department of Labor under Lee County manager Levon Wisher. He retired a second time after eight years as director.

He is survived by his wife of 71 years, Rebecca Waites Thomas; three daughters, Jean T. Mavrlis (Mark) of Fort Myers, Susan T. Pressly (Jim) of Lake Wylie, S.C., and Deborah T. Howard of Mount Pleasant, S.C.; nine grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren.

Services and entombment were in Fort Myers, Fla. Fort Myers Memorial Gardens Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

Condolences and memories may be left online at

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