Obituary of Willie M. Thomas
Willie Mack Thomas arrived and departed during the much-anticipated spring season. He entered this world to the delight of his family on April 13, 1943 and departed this earth way too soon on April 8, 2022. Airman Thomas joined the USAF in 1961 and completed 28 years of active-duty service, increasing his rank to Master Sergeant. His military career began as an aircraft mechanic on the B29, then he crossed trained into the Civil Engineering Unit where he provided critical support to each base he was assigned to. During his military career Sgt Thomas enjoyed each opportunity to travel and to support the Air Force’s mission in Vietnam, Europe, Puerto Rico and across the nation.
Upon retirement at Barksdale AFB, his final move was to Tucson, Arizona where he worked as a contractor at the Bone Yard, for an additional 22 years. In his role leading crews to decommission military devices and aircraft, he was affectionately known as ‘The Mayor’ of AMARC.
Willie was an intellectually sharp individual who was inspired by reading everything he could get his hands on and who was attracted to current events. As a younger man, he was an expert billiards player, loved playing chess, as well as collecting chess boards. Additional hobbies he enjoyed included photography, playing ping pong, card games and listening to the blues music.
The family that he loved fiercely and who are heartbroken with the dawning of our new reality include his wife of 57 years, Mary Thomas, his daughter Karen Laughlin [Donnie Laughlin], his son Kevin Thomas [Jenny Thomas], his sister Carita [Renee] Jackson [Jerry Jackson], his grandson Khalid Thomas, along with his precious niece and two nephews.
Thank you for reading a tiny amount about the dynamic, caring and gigantic man we called Husband, Dad, Brother, Neighbor and a good friend. We love you Willie.
Celebration of Life services will be hosted at Brings Broadway Chapel, 6910 East Broadway, Tucson, AZ 85710 Friday, 15th April 2022 at 10:00 am, reception to follow.