Rev. William E. Thomas, 96, died February 13, 2017 at home. Born January 23, 1921 in Passaic, N.J., the son of the late William S. and Mildred (Schafer) Thomas. He was the husband of Naomi R. (Gross) Thomas for 37 years and was predeceased by his first wife of 32 years, Virginia K. (Scholl). He was a member of Greenawalds UCC, Allentown, Pa. Bill graduated from The Pennsylvania State University in 1943 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Metallurgy. While there he played every inning of every baseball game starting with his freshman year, and hit a bases loaded home run against West Point. In his senior year he captained the baseball team and was president of his fraternity. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. For over 14 years he was associated with Emmaus Foundry & Machine Co., Inc., and in 1961 became a member of the firm of Pocono Foundry & Machine Co., Inc., Stroudsburg, Pa. At age 43, Bill entered Lancaster Theological Seminary and received a Bachelor of Divinity degree, and later a Master of Divinity degree. June 11, 1967 Bill was ordained at the United Church of Christ at Zion (Red) Church, Orwigsburg, Pa. In 2007, he received the Rev. Dr. Allen S. Meck medallion and certificate award for Excellence in Ministry from Lancaster Theological Seminary. The first church he served was Greenawalds, UCC, Allentown, then Solomon's UCC, Bedminster, Pa. Prior to retiring at age 67, he was honored by Solomon's UCC when they presented to him a resolution declaring him Pastor Emeritus. After retiring to North Carolina, Bill served the Presbyterian Church USA as an Interim, Stated and Supply Pastor. Upon returning to Pennsylvania he served in like manner UCC congregations until 2007, retiring again at age 87. He was a 70 year member of Fritz Lodge No. 420 F&AM, a 50 year member of AASR Valley of Reading Consistory and a member of the Ray A. Master Post No. 217, The American Legion, Topton, Pa. Bill is survived by his wife, Naomi; son, William Jr. (wife, Lori), Mertztown, Pa.; daughter, Deborah Lyszczek (husband, Edward), Templeton, Calif.; grandson, Zachary Thomas, East Greenville, Pa.; sister, Betty Seidel (husband, Donald), Allentown, Pa.; and nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by 4 sisters: Ruth Matz, Mildred Mattson, Dorothy Fryer and Anna Kaag. Services: 11:00 a.m. Thursday, February 16, Greenawalds UCC, 2325 Albright Ave., Allentown, PA. Visiting: 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. at the church. Arrangements, Trexler Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, contributions to the church and PA Wounded Warriors, 1117 Country Club Rd., Camp Hill, PA 17011.
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