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Silver Taps Notification

William "Willie" Thomas '52 August 5, 2020 10:40 AM updated: August 5, 2020 10:54 AM

William Belton Thomas
July 1, 1931 - July 17, 2020

William (Bill) Belton Thomas left this earthly home to begin life with his Heavenly Father on July 17, 2020 at the age of 89. He died peacefully after contending with Parkinson's disease for several years and the very recent loss of his wife Jo Nell on April 26, 2020. His burial service for family will be August 14, 2020 at Willamette National Cemetery, 11800 SE Mt. Scott Blvd, Portland, Oregon. A virtual memorial service will be coordinated by Southwest Church of Christ in Tigard, Oregon on August 15, 2020.

Bill was born on a farm north of Robstown, Texas on July 1, 1931. He graduated from Banquette High School in 1948, one of sixteen students. His interest in livestock, especially pigs prompted him to pursue an animal science degree at Texas A&M University. During his last semester at A&M Bill had the good fortune of meeting Jo Nell Hobrecht who was a sophomore at Southwest Texas State located in San Marcos. It was a blind date arranged by his sister. Bill married Jo Nell April 9, 1955 after serving in Korea as a tank platoon leader in the 25th infantry division for 15 months. Lorena Ann Thomas, a daughter was born to them on June 5, 1957 while Bill was pursuing a master's degree at A&M. His son William Michael Thomas was born on October 23, 1959 in Mercedes, Texas. In 1961, Bill and his family moved back to College Station, Texas where he pursued a PhD degree in animal nutrition and served on the faculty in the animal science department. He retired on December 31, 1994. Due to Bill's teaching and program development skills the board of regents for the Texas A&M University system bestowed on him the title of professor and extension specialist emeritus with all riches and privileges.

Bill was a faithful servant of God and served as an elder at the A&M Church of Christ in College Station for 10 years. In 1995, Bill and his wife moved to South Fork, Colorado to be involved in a mission effort to establish and support the building of a worship center. With God's help the project was a tremendous success.

Bill was proceeded in death by his wife Jo Nell; his daughter, Lorena Ann; his brother, Richard Thomas and sister-in-law Patricia Thomas; and his parents, Henry Thomas and Harvie (Humphries) Thomas. He is survived by his son Michael Thomas and his daughter-in-law Heather Schraeder-Thomas; grandson Marek William Thomas; sister Mary Ruth Belote of Houston, Texas; sister's-in-law Joy Gooden of Boerne, Texas; Lee Mathis of New Braunfels, Texas; and numerous nephews and nieces.

Bill will be remembered as one who deeply loved God and his family. He had many friends.

A man's heart plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.

Proverbs 16:9

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