OCEAN CITY, Md. - Gary Thomas, 73, of Ocean City, passed away suddenly on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at his residence in Ocean City. Born in Washington DC, he was the son of the late Lemuel Rudolph Thomas, Sr. and Oneida Spriggs Thomas Matthews.
Gary served in the US Air Force for 22 years, retiring as a Recruiting Supervisor in the Washington DC area. He served as a Telecommunications Operations Superintendent for 14 years and Recruiter for over eight years. He was awarded with Meritorious Service Medal w/ 1 oak Leaf Cluster, AF Commendation Medal, AF Good Conduct Medal w/five Oak Leaf Clusters (1 June through 15 April 79), Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon, NCO Professional Military Education Ribbon, AF Longevity Service Award Ribbon w/ four Oak Leaf Clusters, National Defense Service Medal, AF Outstanding Unit Award. Of all his medals and ribbons he was most proud of being Rookie Recruiter of the Year in the Nation and going on to be become top Recruiter in the Nation and receiving his recruiter ring.
After retiring, Gary pursued a career as a civilian with the Department of Army as a Reservist Recruiting Specialist. He excelled to become the top Civilian Recruiter in the nation. In both the AF and Army he never missed his quota by category for signing up recruits. Gary always strived to be the best that he could be in all his endeavors.
Gary also worked for the National Wildlife Federation in Washington, DC where he was supervisor of Administrative Services, he taught computer graphics at University of District of Columbia at the Oak Hill Academy and he was a Real Estate Agent for Coldwell Banker and later Prudential Real Estate in Ocean City.
Gary loved to play chess, especially internationally on-line, where he obtained top ratings in his league. He was very competitive playing any type of sports or games.
Gary was a member of Coastal Sanctuary Church in Berlin, MD where he served as Trustee and a servant leader. At Coastal he taught free Computer Graphics classes for the community. Gary loved the Lord and he let his light shine to everyone he came in contact with. All who knew him loved him for his kind, loving and patient spirit.
He is survived by his loving wife of 33 years, Joyce Ann Simmons Thomas; 2 son's, Gary Thomas, Jr. of San Francisco, CA and David Thomas and his wife, Cheryl of Dale City, VA; a daughter, Donna Marie Thomas of Beltsville, MD; a step-son, Keith Brinkley and his wife, Kim of Orlando, FL; 2 step-daughters, Gina Harrison and her husband, Kenneth, Sr. of King George, VA and Joyce Brinkley of Landover, MD; 14 grandchildren (Domonic, Octavis, Kenneth, Harold, Timothy, Nicholas, Keith, Jr., Keith, Latrese, Briana, Archelle, Keiria, Keivon, Kayla) and 3 great grandchildren (Jeremiah, Cassidy and Chole'); 2 brothers, Tony Thomas of St. Petersburg, FL and Wayne Thomas and his wife, Sandra of White Plains, MD; 4 sisters, Ann Smith of Bowie, MD, Linda Smith of Landover, MD, Nita Parker of Burtonsville, MD and Fay McArthur and her husband, George of Clinton, MD. He was also preceded in death by 3 siblings, Jean Jackson, Lemuel, Jr., (Maryland) Jean Jackson (Orlando, FL) and Doris Davis (Maryland). He is also survived by 1 uncle, Harry Thomas (Washington, DC), 2 brothers in laws, Glenn Simmons and Carl Jackson and sister-in-law, Connie Thomas.
A funeral service will be held on Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 5:00 pm at the Holloway Funeral Home in Salisbury with a visitation one hour prior to the service. Officiating will be Rev. Carolyn Francis. Services will also be held on Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 11:00 am at the Greater Mt. Nebo AME Church in Bowie, MD with a visitation from 9:30 -11:00 am. Interment with military honors will follow at the Washington National Cemetery in Suitland, MD. Contributions in his memory may be made to Coastal Sanctuary Church or to his wife, Joyce. Local arrangements are in the care of Holloway Funeral Home, PA, 501 Snow Hill Road, Salisbury, MD 21804. Please visit the Holloway Funeral Home website to express condolences to the family.