- About Us
George ThomasAugust 15, 1930 ~ November 28, 2017 (age 87)
George Thomas didn’t have a middle name. He didn’t need one. He made a superior name for himself in every aspect of his long life: as a husband, father, brother, businessman, church leader, woodworker, and all-around decent human being.
George died Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017, at Lanier Village Estates in Gainesville following an extended illness. He was 87.
Dr. Murphy Thomas describes his older brother as quiet and unassuming. “He had an uncanny sense of knowing what was needed and was always there for me at the right moment,” Murphy said. “He accepted me just the way I was. He was never judgmental.” Murphy later became a psychologist with his own practice in Murphreesboro, Tennessee.
Irene Thomas, the Thomases’ daughter, said her father was the moral compass in her life. “He didn’t preach,” she said, “and he always role-modeled the behaviors he wanted me to have. He influenced people by his quiet manner.” Irene, a registered nurse, lives in Charleston, South Carolina.
Gerald Orr knew George well. They were partners, along with others, in Georgia Foam Inc., which they later sold. “He was great to work with. He always gave good advice, but he didn’t manage the business. He left it to us to manage the business. He was the best partner you could have. … The only time he got excited was when someone aggravated him about Georgia Tech football.”
His family and friends agreed that George was a man of integrity and a smart businessman who treated everyone with the Golden Rule in mind.
George Thomas was born Aug. 15, 1930, to George and Margaret McNeel Thomas of Marietta. He attended Culver Military Academy and Georgia Tech, where he received a degree in industrial engineering. He met Anne Warren on a blind date, Anne said, and “one of our friends said he’s not going to like this, because she’s so outgoing and he’s so quiet.” But they were married for 67 years. “He was the only man I ever loved,” she said. “He was a Southern gentleman.”
The Thomases moved in 1956 to Gainesville, where George purchased a tractor dealership—the Ford Farm and Industrial Equipment. He also became partner in several other businesses, including Georgia Foam, Gainesville and Mid-Atlantic Form, and Western Wood Products in Fredricksburg, Virginia.
George was active in the Gainesville Rotary Club, which he served as president and which named him a Paul Harris Fellow. He also was active at First Presbyterian Church, where he served as deacon and elder. He was a golfer and a member of Chattahoochee Country Club and Highlands Country Club in Highlands, North Carolina, where he and Anne enjoyed playing during warm months. One of his hobbies was making doll houses and miniature furniture. He designed his own house in Gainesville and then built a miniature version of it. Some of his work has been donated to the Quinlan Art Center.
The Thomases have contributed generously to a number of nonprofit organizations—and to some individuals anonymously.
Their son, Warren, died Dec. 7, 2012.
In addition to his wife, daughter and brother, George is survived by two sisters-in-law, Barbara Thomas and Florence Hendee.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 30, at First Presbyterian Church with Dr. Lee Koontz, the Rev. Shon Peppers, and the Rev. Richard Evans officiating. In lieu of flowers, the family requested that memorial donations be made to the Good News Clinic or to First Presbyterian Church.
Little-Davenport Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.