Obituaries » Peter R. Thomas

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Peter R. Thomas

September 18, 1923 - January 8, 2022

U.S. Veteran

Burial Date February 5, 2022

Funeral Home Thomas Poteet & Sons Funeral Home

Church Prince of Peace Lutheran Church

Obituary Viewed 716 times

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Peter Raymond Thomas, age 89, was called to his heavenly home by his Lord and Savior on January 8, 2022. Peter was born to Laurence and Lorita Thomas in 1932 in Orange, NJ. At the tender age of 12, he traveled by train across the country to the San Juan Islands in Washington State, to spend the summer at the Henderson summer camps, owned and operated by his aunt and uncle. This was the beginning of a lifelong love of adventure and the outdoors. Peter returned to the Henderson camps every summer throughout his childhood, first as a camper then as a camp counselor. Peter was always interested in building and constructing things. When he told his parents he wanted to be a carpenter, they explained that a carpenter with a college degree is called an architect. Later, when it became apparent that Peter had no talent for drawing or design, his parents told him that an architect with no talent is called a civil engineer. So, it was no surprise that Peter majored in civil engineering. And in May of 1954, he graduated from Stanford University with a BS in civil engineering. After graduating, he was sworn into the US Navy. He was commissioned in December 1954, and served in Guam, Marianas Islands, and in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. In November 1957, he was released from active duty into inactive reserves until 1966, when he was honorably discharged with the rank of Lieutenant Junior Grade. 1958 was a busy year for Peter. In addition to earning a Master’s in civil engineering from Stanford in December of that year, he also met and fell in love with a beautiful young nurse named Lois. Peter and Lois became engaged within 3 months of meeting and were married on June 6, 1959, at Fairview Lutheran Church in Milwaukee, WI. God blessed Peter and Lois abundantly, and by the end of 1969 they had a house full of six lively, beautiful little daughters! Peter worked for Bechtel, Inc for 34 years, from 1961 – 1995. Upon his retirement, company president Riley Bechtel said of him, “Your commitment to excellence and your appreciation of sound technical judgement have continually demonstrated dedication and loyalty to Bechtel. “ Peter was active in his local church, serving faithfully as elder, trustee, and usher at various times throughout the years. After retiring, Peter began using the gifts and talents God had given him in new ways. He volunteered with Builders for Christ, traveling around the country with teams of skilled workers, building churches. He began and co-led a chapter of the Lutheran Boy Pioneers at his local church, teaching young men Christian leadership and outdoor skills. He loved camping trips with these young men, where he would encourage them to work together, struggle, fail, and finally succeed, at putting up tents, building fires, and cooking gourmet meals like Tuna Wiggle. Then he would roll out his sleeping bag and sleep under the stars as he did when he was a boy. Peter will be remembered for his huge laughs (especially at his own jokes), his love of corny jokes and bad puns, the best hold-you-tight engulfing hugs, his ever-present pipe, and always his stories! Peter was preceded in death by his wife Lois and his sister Janet. He is survived by his brothers Earl and David; his daughters Laura Evans (Bill), Margaret Cleveland (Scott), Sally Thomas, Patricia Cleary (Jim), Jeanne Thomas and Barbara Thomas; his grandchildren Matthew (Laura), Catherine (John), Timothy, Jack, Zach, James, Benjamin; great grandchildren Luke and Oliver; as well as many relatives and friends. We are blessed to know with absolute certainty, through God’s Word and by God’s promises, that Peter is forever with the Lord. We do not grieve as those who have no hope. Still, we grieve. Thank you for your love, thoughts, and prayers. But especially thank you for your love for and memories of Peter Raymond Thomas. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made to: Prince of Peace Lutheran Church 3703 Riverwatch Parkway Martinez GA 30907 A memorial service will be held on February 5, 2022, at 11am at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Martinez, GA. “For out of His fullness we have all received grace upon grace.” John 1:16