James E. Thomas, 87, of Oppenheim, New York passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, January 11, 2020 at Nathan Littauer in Gloversville, New York.
Jim was born on May 17, 1932 in Canton, OH and was the son of the late, Jesse and Thelma (Price) Thomas. He graduated as valedictorian of his class from Central High School in Lima, Ohio. Jim continued his education at West Point Military Academy where he received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in 1954. Following graduation, he entered the United States Army on June 4, 1954 and was honorably discharged on May 29, 1957 after serving his country.
On December 31, 1980, Jim was united in marriage to the former Sharon M. Avery at the Universalist Church in Dolgeville, New York. The couple shared their 39th wedding anniversary this past New Year's Eve.
Jim’s resume is varied and extensive. He was an ordained Minister, serving as a missionary in India in the 1960’s and preached as well as provided services locally until 2016. He taught History in both Amsterdam and Oppenheim School Districts. In 1976, he became a Professional Engineer and Land Surveyor. Jim owned Thomas Engineering and Surveying in Dolgeville, New York and was also the Engineer for the Village of Dolgeville for many years. He worked in the surrounding communities until he retired in 1998. Following his retirement, he spent an additional ten years working for Lexington Center.
Jim took great pride in his service in the Oppenheim Volunteer Fire Company, where he volunteered for 45 years. He was also an active participant of the Free and Accepted Masons - Dolgeville Masonic Lodge #796, The Great Council of the Improved Order of the Red Men, VFW, Rotary and Lion’s Clubs of Dolgeville.
He always had a thirst for knowledge, therefore, much of his free time was spent reading and over the years he accumulated a rather expansive library. He was often seen with a word search and a good Dollar Store gel pen in hand. He enjoyed the company of family and friends.
James is survived by his wife, Sharon Thomas of Oppenheim, NY; his children, Regina Thomas, Robert Thomas, Stephen Thomas, Robert Dreusike, Janet Cowley and Leslie Beauregard; several grandchildren; and his sister, Marilyn Hathaway of Gallup, NM. He was predeceased by his parents, Jesse and Thelma Thomas; and his sister, Janet Hansaker.
In honor of the life that he lived, calling hours will be from 4:00 pm-6:00 pm on Wednesday, January 15, 2019. A prayer service will be led by the Free and Accepted Masons of the Dolgeville Masonic Lodge immediately following the calling hours at 6:00 pm also at the funeral home. The United States Army Honor Guard will accord their funeral honors at this time and the service will conclude with the Oppenheim Volunteer Fire Company honoring Jim with a last call bell. All are welcome to attend. Arrangements are with Miller-Plonka Funeral Home, 30 Wolf Street, Dolgeville, New York.
In lieu of flowers and gifts, please consider a donation to the Oppenheim Fire Company, 6786 State Highway 29, St. Johnsville, New York 13452.
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