Billy Don Thomas Sr., 72, of Lodi, died March 24 of natural causes, in Sacramento after a long illness. He was born on July 17, 1930, in Cleveland, Okla.
Mr. Thomas Sr. lived in Eureka, Kan. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on Dec. 15, 1950, and served aboard the USS Twining during the Korean War. He married Bonnie Rae Howard on April 16, 1951, in Reno, Nev. The couple lived in Broderick.
|Billy Thomas Sr.
After his discharge in 1952, he worked for McClelland Air Force Base in Sacramento for two years. He then was employed by Sunbeam Bakery for several years in Sacramento. Sunbeam Bakery then became Blue Seal Bakery and he was transferred to the Stockton location. He later worked at Langendorf Bakery, which became Dolly Madison, and he retired in 1986 as a route salesman. The couple moved to Lodi in 1968.
He was a Baptist by faith. He was also a singer and guitarist and played with the Tommy Duncan Band in Sacramento for a number of years. He once played guitar for Sonny James. He performed at local events with his son and daughter. He enjoyed camping and playing golf. He also enjoyed boxing and was a Golden Gloves champion.
He is survived by his wife, Bonnie Thomas, of Lodi; son, Don Thomas, of Crescent City; daughter, Jillene Barr, of Lodi; brothers, Danny Thomas, of Sacramento, and Roger Thomas, of El Dorado Hills; sister, Connie Himenez, of West Sacramento; five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his brothers, David and Leonard Thomas; and sisters, Dorothy Maves and Betty Ingram.
A graveside service will be held at 1 p.m. Friday at Lodi Memorial Cemetery with Elder Steve Koeppel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints officiating. Committal will follow.
There will be no visitation.
Arrangements are under the direction of Lodi Funeral Home.
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