Rev. William B. ThomasCleveland, TNThe Rev. William B. Thomas (Bill), 94, died at home on 05/24/2017. He was born on February 4, 1923 in Chattanooga, TN to the late Daily Lee (DL) and Annie Cate Thomas.Bill's mother was a school teacher (Alton Park Elementary) and died of childbirth in 1927. His stepmother was Sue Sullivan Rogers Thomas and even though her formal education was cut short, she took a keen interest in Bill's schooling, making lifelong friends of his teachers and was even elevated to President of the Oak Grove Elementary PTA. She died of kidney disease in September of 1961. She was well beloved.Bill's maternal grandparents were the Ben Cate family of the Rocky Mount Community near Athens, TN. His paternal grandparents were the Richard Thomas family of the Rogers Creek Community also near Athens. The Cate family lineage goes all the way back to Southern Scotland. The Thomas family lineage goes back to Colonial Virginia.Bill's father was the owner of a grocery store in the Oak Grove Community for years. Bill helped his father during the Great Depression delivering grocery orders to his father's customers riding a bicycle in all kinds of weather-not his son's favorite pastime.Bill attended and graduated from the Oak Grove Elementary School, East Side Junior High School and Central High school, the latter in June of 1941. He entered the University of Chattanooga as pre-engineering student in September of 1941.He was inducted into the U.S. Navy in June of 1943 and served as a radio man in the southwest Pacific, being discharged in June of 1946. He then obtained work with the AT&T Company in Chattanooga working for them for six years. Through some travail in his own life, Bill felt God's great love for him which in time led to his feeling called to the Christian ministry. He reentered that University of Chattanooga to complete his college education graduation in August of 1954. He immediately enrolled in Drew Theological Seminary in Madison, NJ graduating from there in May of 1957 with a Master of Divinity Degree.In 1963, Bill met, and in time, married Mary Kathryn Smith, an elementary school teacher. Their relationship continued for almost fifty years. She was an excellent pastor's wife and felt at home with children, youth, and adults to whom she ministered faithfully. She died of Multiple Sclerosis on October 8, 2014.Bill was predeceased by his stepsister, Marguerite Rogers Maddux in California several years ago. Four step-grandchildren survive.Bill was a United Methodist minister for 31 years serving churches all the way from northwest Georgia to the upper East Tennessee area. He retired from the Holston Annual Conference in June of 1988. He then accepted part time work as Minister of Visitation as Wesley Memorial United Methodist church in Cleveland, TN.Bill's hobbies were photography and amateur radio (W$MED in the late 40S and N4LIS in the 80s and following.) The latter hobby was one he found very exciting having been interested in radio communications ever since his very early teens.Survivors: stepdaughter Mrs. Karen Smith Hill of Sevierville, TN and four step-grandchildren and their families including special grandson Christopher Hill and family of Morristown, TN .Over the years Bill received excellent medical care from the following doctors: Warner Clark and Robert Keith of Church Hill, TN, David Dodson of Chattanooga, TN, Azhar Sheikh and Edward Snodgrass, and cardiologists Joseph Powers, Robert Mills, and James Markham all of Cleveland, TN.Bill was most fortunate to have an excellent caregiver in the person of Patsy Sawyer who took such wonderful care of him in his last days.Heartfelt appreciation is expressed to Bills devoted neighbors, Dina Hines Dell and her husband, Scott, and fellow church members Milteen Cartwright, Sandy and Cecil Parkinson, along with others. Several Sunday School classes at Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church will long be remembered for the delicious food they so faithfully prepared and shared with him and MaryKathryn over the years.Bill's funeral services will be held at Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church on Monday, June 5, 2017 at 2:00 PM conducted by the Rev. Curtis D. McKee of Maryville, TN."for the beauty of the Earth, for the Glory of the Skies, for you Love which from my birth, over and around me lies, Lord of All, to You I raise this my hymn of grateful praise."You are invited to share a personal memory of William B. Thomas at his online memorial located at
. Companion Funeral and Cremation Service and the Cody family are honored to assist the Thomas family with these arrangements.