Gary Don Thomas, age 75, went to be with his Lord and Savior on Tuesday morning May 29, 2018 after a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease.
Gary Don Thomas, age 75, went to be with his Lord and Savior on Tuesday morning May 29, 2018 after a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease. Gary was born in his family home October 22,1942 in Chillicothe, Missouri. He shared his birthday with his older brother of seven years, Glenn. He grew up in a Christian home and accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior at the age of 11. He attended Calvary Baptist Church in Chillicothe, Missouri while growing up. He graduated from Chillicothe High School and went on to receive his undergraduate degree from the University of Missouri in 1964. Later he earned his Masters in Physical Science from the University of Chicago. He served in the United States Army during the Vietnam War and was stationed in Panama. While in the Army, Judy Cox, a young woman from Nettleton, Missouri began to write to him at the suggestion of his cousin. They soon realized they shared common interests, most especially football. The young couple were married on September 15, 1968. Gary worked for Bell Laboratories while they lived outside of Chicago. Gary and Judy’s eldest daughter, Gwendolyn Elaine, was born July 13,1970 in Naperville, Illinois. Gretchen Leigh soon followed August 12, 1973. The family of four lived in Naperville until 1976, at which time, Gary took a job with E-Systems Garland Division and moved the family to Richardson, Texas. They have been members of First Baptist Church Richardson since 1979. Gary was a software engineer for 43 years. Ten of those years were with Bell Laboratories, two in the US Army and 31 years with E-Systems/ Raytheon. Gary had a brilliant career and received a lifetime achievement award in systems software cost estimation from the University of Southern California. He received an honorary doctorate from USC for his work as well. Since Gary’s retirement in 2007 he has been writing about his hometown and county’s historical events, people and places. Starting 2012 he was a co-contributor for a blog published in the Chillicothe Constitution Tribune entitled “Chillicothe Missouri- As We Remember.” Ever interested in history, Gary wrote a book about a notorious judge from Livingston County entitled The Four Consorts of Joseph Slagle: an Unauthorized Biography of Judge Joseph Slagle. It was published in 2017. He is preceded in death by his father Glenn Thomas and his mother Goldie Dawkins Thomas and sister-in-law Lucille Morris Thomas. He is survived by his loving wife of 49 years Judy of Garland, Texas, his daughter Gwen Adams, and son-in-law Matt Adams of Lafayette, Louisiana; his daughter Gretchen Walker and son-in-law Darren Walker of Plano, Texas; and six grandchildren, Drew, Aubrey, Luke and Seth Adams and Anastasia and Natasha Walker; one brother, Glenn Thomas and his wife, Connie of Chillicothe, Missouri and his niece Becky Smith of Independence, Missouri and nephew Craig Thomas and his wife Carol of Chicago, Illinois, as well as many dear cousins, in-laws and nieces and nephews. Services will be held at Williams Funeral Home in Garland, Texas on Saturday, June 23, 2018 at 10:30 am, with a reception to follow. Inurnment will take place at a later date at Lickfork Cemetary in Gallatin, Missouri In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the First Baptist Church of Richardson’s James and Irene Landis Scholarship Fund.