John B. Thomas of Tum-a-Lum Circle, Westerly, Rhode Island passed away after a short battle with pancreatic cancer in his home while surrounded by his family on Thursday, February 2, 2023, at the age of 80.
A loving and devoted husband, father and grandfather, he is survived by his daughter, Kimberly J. Kerst and husband Michael of Mystic CT, his son John A. Thomas and wife Barbara of Massapequa, NY, his son Stephen J. Thomas and wife Linda of East Lyme CT and eight grandchildren: Kelly (Kerst) Bellamy, Matthew and Andrew Kerst, Nicholas, Vincent and Christian Thomas and Scott and Kevin Thomas. He is predeceased by his wife Barbara J. (Moll) Thomas.
John was born in Bayshore, NY on July 29, 1942, the son of the late John C. Thomas and Margaret Thomas. John attended Kings Park High School and at the age of 17 he enlisted in the US Army where he served in Company A, 1st Airborne Battle Group, 501st Infantry as a Paratrooper. He served for 3 years and was honorably discharged as a Sargent. He loved his time in the Army.
John met his wife, Barbara, in Smithtown, NY and they married in 1965. They settled in Saint James, NY and together they raised three wonderful children. They were married for 49 years.
After the Army John entered the Apprenticeship Training program with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 25 and qualified as a Journeyman in 1967. John spent his entire career with DiFazio Electric where he worked on residential, commercial, industrial and power plant projects throughout Long Island. At DiFazio Electric, John became the superintendent that was often asked to handle the biggest most challenging jobs. He retired from DiFazio Electric after 34 years. John was a member of the IBEW Local 25 for nearly 60 years.
Although he worked incredibly hard, he also ensured his family had time for fun and adventure as he led them on many skiing, camping and cross-country trips often times with several close family friends from church. Races to set up their pop-up campers, white water rafting down the Colorado River and driving their cars across the frozen lake in Keane, NH were normal activities.
In his retirement with Barbara, they traveled extensively in their RVs and spent time at the Regal Ridge Cooperative at Deer Creek Golf and RV Resort where they made incredible friends. Wherever he went he was asked to serve, and John never let people down. He was very involved with the Family Motor Coach Association and served in various capacities in the Northeast Chapter of Coaches for Christ. He also served on the board of Directors of the Regal Ridge Cooperative. After Barbara’s passing, it was Gods will that he met Dianne Bourne. For a wonderful five years, they spent time traveling, golfing and most importantly, spent time with friends and family. John was blessed to have met Dianne.
A humble man of strong character and deep faith, John was the backbone of his family. His gentle approach, warm words and kind heart were obvious to all that met him. Everyone he touched was better off because of him. He will be dearly missed by so many.
A memorial service to celebrate the life of John Thomas will be held on Saturday, April 22, 2023, at noon at River Bend Cemetery in Westerly RI. There will be full military honors. Funeral services are under the direction of Rushlow-Iacoi Funeral Home & Crematory, 64 Friendship Street, Westerly.
For online condolences, please go to www.rushlowiacoifuneralhome.com
In lieu of flowers, John’s family requests donations be made to HopeHealth Hospice & Palliative Care at www.hopehealthco.org