The Duncan Banner


April 10, 2014

Paul E. Thomas

DUNCAN — Paul Edward Thomas of Elmore City, Okla. was born to James and Allie (Brown) Thomas on Jan. 14, 1925 in Branch, Ark. and passed from this life on April 7, 2014 in Oklahoma City at the age of 89 years.

Paul grew up during the Great Depression in rural Oklahoma and attended school at Pernell and Burris High.  It was during his early school years that he met Joanna Cross. On Nov. 17, 1945, Paul married Joanna in Pauls Valley, Okla.  They would remain soul mates for the next 68 years.

At the age of 17 Paul joined the U. S. Navy to serve his country during World War II and remained in the military for 16 years. During the war he served on board a sub chaser in the South Pacific, seeing action in numerous battles. After the war he was selected to serve on board the Presidents’ Yacht during the Truman presidency. He served on board a cruiser during the Korean war. As a communication specialist, Paul took his expertise to the U.S. Air Force for four additional years of service to his country.

After military life, Paul’s career included working in the oil fields, manufacturing, agricultural, and construction trades. In the 1970s Paul started a storm cellar business and built seamless storm cellars across southern Oklahoma, which oddly enough was disrupted by a tornado that hit the family home and business in 1977.

Paul again moved back into public service as the director of transportation for the Pernell, Perry and Woodward school systems, ensuring safe and reliable transportation for thousands of students over 16 years.  He retired from public service in 1989.

Family was always a priority for Paul and Joanna, raising eight children including teachers, preachers, medical, military, and other service roles. The family now includes 22 grandchildren and 29 great-grandkids.  Through these many years, Paul was a man of many talents. He was an inventor, musician, song writer, and writer. In his spare time he enjoyed fishing, trapping, hunting and Astrology.

Mr. Thomas is survived by his wife, Joanna Thomas of the home, sons: David Thomas and Debbie of Velma, Douglas Thomas and Debbie of Lone Jack, Mo., Gregory Thomas of Perry, Okla. and Stanley Thomas and Melinda of Abilene, Kan., daughters: Donna Rhea of Perkins, Okla., Barbara Hardy and Mike of Round Rock, Texas and Saphronia Whaley and Bill of Newcastle, Okla., sister Pearl Odema Tomlinson, 22 grandchildren, 29 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.

Mr. Thomas was preceded in death by son Paul E. Thomas, Jr., daughter Joanna Elaine Thomas, parents Jim and Allie Thomas, brothers James Perry Thomas, Quillon Thomas and Glenn Thomas, grandson Tony Richardson and great-granddaughter Brittney Pierce.

Funeral services are scheduled for Saturday, April 12, 2014 at 2 p.m. in the Shady Grove Church with Bill Whaley and Joe Terrell officiating. Interment will be in the Elmore City Cemetery under the direction of Wooster Funeral Home. Condolences may be sent to the family at


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Should the date for The World's Largest Garage Sale be changed from the third weekend in July to sometime in October to take advantage of cooler weather like we had this past weekend?

No. It's better in the summer cause kids are out of school.
Yes. More shoppers would come during nice fall weather.
Either time is fine.

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