Robert Alexander Thomas, Jr. was born on August 9, 1927 to Robert Alexander Thomas, Sr. and Eunice “Ilita” Mays and passed away on May 17th in the year of our Lord 2013.
He was born and raised in Washington, Pennsylvania and spent his youth fully involved in most sports, attending church and using his beautiful, captivating, God-given, baritone voice performing at schools and parties and at church. The singing requests continued throughout his life and he rarely turned down an opportunity to “wow” a crowd with his voice and charm.
Right out of high school Robert started his adult life and career defending the United States, serving and protecting our country for the next 30 years. Robert fought in four wars, including, but not limited to, three tours of duty in Vietnam. Robert was injured in the line of duty and was decorated with many awards, but he continued to serve his country.
Robert was a lifetime Mason, belonging to Cassia-Masonic Lodge No. 5. He was a great son, brother, husband, father, stepfather, grandfather, great grandfather, uncle, great uncle, as well as a loyal friend to many.
After retiring from the military, Robert spent 40 years as a resident of Fircrest. His community meant a lot to him and it showed in his donations to many organizations from the police and fire departments to the homeless, cancer research, and of course, veterans. Robert took his mind, body, and soul very seriously. He was a member of the YMCA on Pearl Street in Tacoma for 40 years and worked out 364 days a year, only missing Christmas. He was thought of so highly that his photo hung in the YMCA for 25 years and he had an honorary parking spot there as well. He had a group of friends that he worked out with and that he cared about a great deal. He was very respected in the Fircrest community. He had a “big” personality and was liked immediately by all who met him. He also had a soft and compassionate side, never turning down a friend or family member in need.
Robert’s journey through life included a close relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ, and he tried to live his life to reflect that relationship. Robert was a very stoic, kind, gentle, intelligent, and loving man who will forever be missed.
He was preceded in death by his mother and father; his sons, Robert Forte Thomas and Michael Allen Thomas; and his grandson, William Tyrone Potter II.
Robert is survived by his wife, Donna; and his daughters, Robeana, Eunice, Coyea (Keith), Frances (Scott), Donna Jo, and Penny; his sister, Regina Higginbotham and her son, Aubrey; 20 grandchildren; 25 great grandchildren; one nephew; and two great nephews.
Join us in our celebration of this wonderful man’s life. Services will be held at the YMCA, 1002 S Pearl St, in Tacoma on Sunday, May 26, 2013 at 7:15 p.m. Military honors will be held at the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies in Bridgeville, Pennsylvania. Please sign our guestbook at www.newtacoma.com.