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Obituary for Dr. Franklin R. Thomas
Franklin Ray Thomas, Sr., loving husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather, went to be with the Lord on March 11, 2015, at the age of 87. He had been a resident of Carroll Campbell Place in Lexington, SC for three years and passed there surrounded by his cherished wife Esther and family. Frank was born to the late Raymond Benjamin Thomas and the late Carrie Thelma Altman Thomas in Mullins, SC April 22, 1927. He was predeceased by his first wife Evelyn Bernice Loos Thomas and brothers, Billy and Jimmy. Frank graduated from Mullins High School and began The Medical College of South Carolina which later became the Medical University of SC in Charleston. He then enlisted in the United States Navy June 1, 1945 and became a Hospital Apprentice First Class V6. He was assigned to duty in Key West, FL and promoted to Pharmacist Mate Second Class. Frank at the age of 18 even managed the base pharmacy when the registered pharmacists were dismissed. While in Key West, he met Evelyn Bernice Loos whom he married June 19, 1947. The couple lived in Charleston where Frank finished his pharmacy degree and graduated June 2, 1949. Dr. Thomas and family settled in Kershaw, SC, where he joined Simpson’s Drug Store which eventually became Thomas Drug Store. Dr. Thomas was an active member of The First Baptist Church of Kershaw. He served as a deacon as well as Sunday School Superintendent and on numerous committees. He was a member of the Lion’s Club and served as President of the Jaycees where he was honored as Young Man of the Year. He was a Mason and a member of the Jamil Shrine Club. He served as a member of the Lancaster County School Board as well as a board member of the Bank of Kershaw. He retired from pharmacy in 1997 after which he and Esther enjoyed spending time at Lake Wateree and at Cherry Grove Beach. Dr. Thomas is survived by Dr. Esther Lee Bass Thomas, devoted wife of 25 years, and five children: Libby Watson and husband Jim, of Lexington, SC: Helan and husband Randy of Florence, SC: Dorothy and husband Thomas of Cayce, SC: Mary Kay Miller and husband Bill of Westminster, MD: and also Ray Thomas of Westminster, MD. Affectionately called Papa, he is survived by 7 grandchildren: Shelly Thomas and husband Terry (great grandsons Tyler and Blake) of Gilbert, SC: Ashley Neighbors and husband Nathan (great grandsons Anderson, Ellis and Luke ) of Florence, SC: Brett Watson and wife Kim (great grandson Xan) of Lexington, SC; Alden Ellis and wife Deanna (great grandchildren Bryce and Chloe) of Lexington, SC: Matthew Miller of Mamaroneck, NY: and Carrie and Andrew Thomas of Westminster, MD. The family would like to thank the staff of Carroll Campbell Place for the excellent care and constant compassion given. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to First Baptist Church, P.O. Box 67, Kershaw, SC 29067. (803-475-3721) The family will receive friends Sunday, March 15, 2015, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. at Baker Funeral Home, 210 East Hilton Street, Kershaw, SC. The funeral service for Dr. Thomas will be conducted at 11:00 a.m., Monday morning March 16, 2015, in the sanctuary of First Baptist Church, Kershaw. The Reverend Bryant D. Fersner will officiate. Burial will follow with military honors in Kershaw City Cemetery. Baker Funeral Home is serving the Thomas family. www.bakerfunerals.com