On August 13, 2022, William L (Bill) Thomas, of Port St. Lucie, Florida, loving Husband, Father, and Grandfather, passed away at age eighty, after a courageous battle with cancer. He will be sorely missed by his family and many friends and neighbors.
He was born on January 13, 1942, in Fallentimber, PA, the son of the late William and Frances Thomas. He was preceded in death by his sisters Yvonne Noel and Gloria Mae Hollis, and his brother Dennis Thomas.
On November 24, 1962, he married his high school sweetheart, Joyce, at the Methodist Church in Blandburg, PA. Joyce survives him, together with a son, Scott W Thomas (Laura), Palm Beach Gardens, FL; daughter, Kelly Jean Thomas, North Lauderdale, FL; granddaughters Lauren Sweeney, Astoria, NY, Charlotte Laine Hoffman (Shea), great granddaughter Madilyn Victoria Hoffman, Lake Worth, FL; and grandson William M. Thomas, Tampa, FL. Also surviving are his brothers-in-law Pastor John Hollis, Centerville, PA and James Gwin, Warren, OH; sister-in-law Mary Garman, Warren, OH; and brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law Charles and Wanda Garman, Huntsville, AL, and Earl and Tarry Garman, Reading, PA; along with many nieces and nephews.
Bill graduated from Reade Township High School, Mountaindale, PA, in 1959, where he was an honor student and excelled in basketball and baseball. Following his graduation, he joined the U.S. Army, serving in Fort Hood, TX, Inchon, South Korea, and Ft. Bragg, NC during the period of his enlistment. While in the Army he acquired skills as a draftsman and, upon his discharge, began his career at the Washington Gas Light Company, in Washington, DC. In 1969, he accepted a position as a Senior Draftsman with the Smithsonian Institution’s Office of Design and Construction.
During his 30+ years with the Smithsonian he played a significant role in the construction and restoration of the myriad Museums throughout the city. He received awards from the American Institute of Architects for Historic Preservation of the Arts and Industries Museum and was recognized for his work on this project in The Washington Post, the Architectural Record, and the AIA Journal. He also received four Federal Design Awards for other projects for which he was responsible. He completed his career at the Smithsonian as the Project Executive for the construction of the National Museum of the American Indian, often saying it was the most beautiful of all the museum buildings. While working full-time at the Smithsonian, he also received a Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture from the Catholic University of America. In 2003 he returned to Washington for more than a year where he worked on a project designed to protect the Washington Monument from terrorist attacks.
Bill was first and foremost a husband, father and grandfather and was happiest when spending time with his family for holiday and birthday celebrations, as well as on other occasions. He was a golfer, playing as often as he was able while living in Dumfries, Virginia, and when he moved to The Villages, FL, upon his retirement in 2002. However, his golf was curtailed after moving to Port St. Lucie as he underwent lung cancer surgery shortly after his arrival in 2018.
He was a member of the White City United Methodist Church where he took part in the outreach ministry of the Andy’s Alms Team.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held at White City United Methodist Church, 810 W Midway Road, Ft. Pierce, FL 34982 on September 10, 2022. In lieu of flowers, the family asks those who are able instead to make a donation to the Church – IMO William Thomas/General Fund.