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Obituary for William Thomas

William Thomas
ajor William H. Thomas Major William H. Thomas (USAF-ret.), beloved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, died Dec. 12. 2017, at home in Bordentown after a long illness. He was 85. He is survived by his wife, Mary (Kenney); his children, Mary O’Malley (John), Ann Danby (Ian), Eileen Russo (Glenn), William J. Thomas (Claudia), and Sheila Smith; his grandchildren, Kathleen (David), Meaghan (Patrick), John, Samuel, Glenn (Kavya), Bridget, Maeve, Brice, Liam, Daisy, Eliot, Claire, Greg, Colin, Fiona, and Cayla; and his great-grandchildren, Michaela, Grace, and Caroline. William H. Thomas was born on Halloween, 1932, in Buffalo, N.Y. He graduated from Canisius College in Buffalo in 1954, and shortly afterwards enlisted in the Air Force. After completing the Aviation Cadet Program, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in 1956. He served in the Air Force for twenty years, first as a navigator in B-52 squadrons for the Strategic Air Command, including during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Through the Air Force, he received an MBA from Michigan State University in 1966. He served as a finance officer in the Philippines and at McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey, where his growing family settled in 1967. While at McGuire, he transferred to the Military Airlift Command. He spent his last two years of service as special advisor for search and rescue operations in Japan for the 5th Air Force, acting as liaison between the U.S. and Japanese militaries. During his career, he was stationed in Texas, California, Massachusetts, Alabama, Michigan, New Jersey, the Philippines, and Japan, and flew missions all over the world, from Spain to Ethiopia to Iran to Vietnam to Antarctica. After retiring from the Air Force, Thomas worked for the Philadelphia Inquirer in the circulation department from 1975 until 1992. He began as a district manager in Southern New Jersey, and rose to become quality assurance manager for the Circulation Department, a position he held in his retirement. Music was always woven in the fabric of his life. He met Mary Kenney at a college glee club event in 1955, and sang in choirs his whole life, for many years at Corpus Christi Roman Catholic Church in Willingboro, where he was a devoted parishioner. He also sang in the Trenton Diocesan Festival Choir and more recently in the Laudate Chorale. Subsequent to his retirement, he and his wife travelled extensively throughout North America, the Caribbean, and Europe, showing a special fondness for their ancestral homeland, Ireland. The Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 12 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 19, at Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Willingboro. Relatives and friends may call from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, Dec. 18, and from 10 to 11 a.m. Tuesday at the Dennison Funeral Home, 214 W. Front Street St. Florence. Interment to follow in Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery, North Hanover. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Major Thomas’s name may be made to The Society of St. Vincent De Paul, Willingboro Conference, P.O. Box 356, Rancocas, NJ 08073-0356. Dennison Funeral Home, Florence

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609-499-2900 Dennison Funeral Home - Florence
214 West Front St.
Florence, NJ 08518
Email: dennisonfh@yahoo.com
609-386-4567 Dennison-McGee Funeral Home - Burlington
869 Beverly Rd.
Burlington, NJ 08016
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609-859-9200 Dennison Funeral Home - Southampton
41 Main St.
Southampton, NJ 08088
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609-499-2900 Dennison Funeral Homes
214 West Front St.
Florence, NJ 08518
Email: dennisonfh@yahoo.com
609-499-2900 Dennison Funeral Homes
214 West Front St.
Florence, NJ 08518
Email: dennisonfh@yahoo.com