James Warren Thomas Jr.
“World’s Greatest Dad,” James Warren Thomas Jr., 63, of Chesapeake, Va., passed away on Wednesday, March 16, 2011.
He devoted his life to doing what is good for his family, his friends, his church and those less fortunate.
Jim acquired his own accounting and bookkeeping franchise, Marcoin Business Services, in Norfolk in 1978. His business evolved into J.W. Thomas Company, a full-service business management company specializing in the petroleum market. He was a graduate of Pfeiffer College in North Carolina.
Jim was an active member of Great Bridge Presbyterian Church. He was an advocate for those in need and helped develop the Our House Family Shelter in Chesapeake. His generosity was beyond measure and many families in the Tidewater area have benefited from his continuous charitable giving.
Jim was active in Boy Scouts of America where he served as scout master of Troop 6 in Great Bridge and was also a member of Order of the Arrow. He also took great pride in mentoring his son, James, along with numerous other Scouts in his troop to the highest honor of Eagle Scout. Frequent hikes along the Appalachian Trail were among his favorite memories.
For all of his accomplishments, Jim was most proud of his family. He and his wife, Doris, were married 33 years and built their life together in Great Bridge where they raised their six children with faith, kindness, love and generosity as the foundation of their family.
Family members include daughter, Kim Tansky Avolis and husband, Kevin; daughter, Karen Tansky Avolis and husband, Joe; son, Frank L. Tansky and wife, Klara; daughter, Krissy Tansky Vick and husband, Dee; son, James W. Thomas III and wife, Sara; and daughter, Jeannie Thomas.
Jim was equally proud of his 11 grandchildren, Kari Avolis, Ben Avolis, Megan Avolis, Jill Avolis, Sam Avolis, Spencer Avolis, Ellie Vick, Sallie Vick, Ran Vick, Jay Thomas and Raleigh Thomas.
Also known as “Tuppy” to close family and friends, he was born in Moore County, N.C., to Isabel McKeithen Thomas and the late James Warren “Toopie” Thomas. He is survived by his two sisters, Patricia Faye Thomas, of Quebec City, Canada, and Merry Belle Thomas, of Cameron; and his nieces, Julianne Thomas-Drolet and Chloe Thomas-Drolet.
He cherished his family heritage of searching for arrowheads on his grandmother’s land, working the family tobacco farms and working side-by-side with his father on the Seaboard Coast Line and Amtrak trains.
Jim was an avid collector of train memorabilia, antiques and gas station pumps. He also collected decoys from renowned North Carolina carvers. He was an avid fisherman and enjoyed fishing off the Hatteras coast.
The family is especially grateful for the loving care provided by the doctors, nurses and staff of Odyssey Hospice Care of Norfolk and M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.
Jim had an unwavering faith in God’s perfect plan for his life and was so grateful that he was under the care of Dr. Jeffrey Myers and his team, who were able to prolong his life with their medical expertise.
A celebration of his life will be held at Great Bridge Presbyterian Church, 333 Cedar Road, Tuesday, March 22, at 11 a.m. with the Rev. Dr. Ralph Herbert presiding. He will be laid to rest at Chesapeake Memorial Gardens.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to hospice care or M.D. Anderson.
The family will receive friends from 6 to 7 p.m. Monday at H.D. Oliver Funeral Apts., Chesapeake chapel, 1416 Cedar Road.
Online condolences may be offered to the family through hdoliver.com.