On June 17, 2019, faithful servant James Abbott Thomas, beloved husband of Diane L. (Heffner) Thomas, loving father of David Thomas and his wife Bethany Beecher Thomas, Jonathan Thomas and his wife Kerry Thomas and Rebecca Thomas Fraley and her husband Kevin Fraley, dear brother of Pamela Price and her husband Jack Price, cherished grandfather of Liam, Rhys, Caroline, Lily, Gabrielle, Peyton, Logan, and Sutton, was commended into the hands of his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on his 70th birthday.
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Friends may call Sunday June 23rd from 2-4 & 6-8 p.m. at the Slack Funeral Home, P.A., 3871 Old Columbia Pike, Ellicott City, MD 21043. Funeral Services will be held Monday 10 a.m., with visitation from 9-10 a.m., at the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 7607 Old Sandy Spring Rd., Laurel, MD 20707. Interment St. Johns Cemetery, Ellicott City, MD
James (Jimmy and later Jim) was born on June 17th, 1949 to Mr. and Mrs. James E. Thomas of Akron, OH. Jim served in the Naval Air National Guard for four years and attended Akron University. In 1972, Jim earned a degree in Electrical Engineering and went on to serve our Nation with a distinguished 42 year career at the National Security Agency. Jim married Diane Louise Thomas, née Heffner, on August 4th, 1973. Jim's work took him and his young family to England where they lived from 1985-1988. During his time overseas, Jim developed a love and kinship with the country and people that would stay with him for his entire life. This time abroad also gave Jim and his family a chance to connect with relatives in Wales and presented a special opportunity to take his father back to the place of his birth in Cefn-Coed, Myrthur Tydfil for the first time in over 50 years.
Upon his return stateside, Jim's lifelong passion for music and strong faith came together in his dedicated service as an active member of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Laurel, MD. A gifted singer, Jim would bring tears to many eyes in solo and choral performances. Jim played piano, bells, guitar, (not to mention banjo!) and was the chairman of the worship and music committee for over 25 years. Jim along with his wife Diane have also been active participants in outreach and service projects over the years, helping with everything from facility maintenance, and decoration, to international aid and support for the local homeless.
In his later years, Jim enjoyed traveling and spending time with family. Some highlights were times visiting and vacationing with his son Jonathan and family in South Carolina where they enjoyed time with their oldest granddaughter, Gabby with whom Jim shared a love of history. Jim and Diane made several trips abroad to visit with their daughter Rebecca and her family where they explored Europe while playing and laughing with their doting grandkids, Peyton, Logan, and baby Sutton. Jim loved camping and fishing and enjoyed sharing this love with his grandkids from Annapolis, Liam, Rhys, Caroline, and Lily, where they spent time by the water and went camping many Memorial Day weekends to Tuckahoe State Park on Maryland's Eastern Shore.
Jim passed suddenly on Monday night when his ailing heart finally gave out after 70 years of faith, service, and love.
We will miss him terribly, but will treasure the memories, the laughter, the wisdom, and the example he set.
"Well done, good and faithful servant."