The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


February 2, 2014

James W. "Jimmy" Thomas

JOPLIN, Mo. — James W. "Jimmy" Thomas, age 85, of Loma Linda in Joplin passed away at 9:52 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014, at Quaker Hill Skilled Nursing in Baxter Springs, Kan.

Jimmy was born March 29, 1928, in the Lakeside Community, east of Carterville, the son of Roy and Nadine Thomas. He graduated from Webb City High School in 1946 and attended Joplin Junior College. He graduated from Pittsburg State University with his Bachelors Degree. He served his country in the U. S. Navy during World War II and the Korean Wars.

Jimmy, along with his wife, Joan founded the Thomas Insurance Agency in Webb City, formerly known as MFA, now Shelter Insurance. He was an active agent for close to 60 years.

Jimmy was a friend to golf in the Joplin area as well as the state level. He and Joan were inducted into the Joplin Golf Hall of Fame in 1981. He served 15 years on the Missouri Golf Association Board of Directors and was instrumental in the birth of and development of the Missouri Seniors Championship. He served as director of the Twin Hills Invitational for many years, and started the Art Wadkins Memorial Pro-Am tournament at Twin Hills that raised tens of thousands of dollars for golf scholarships at the University of Missouri and locally at MSSU. He directed and served on numerous golf boards, and contributed to many causes that helped to raise monies for golf scholarships, as well as the MSSU International Piano Competition with the Hickey Huckle. He sponsored the Greater Joplin Womens Golf Association and the Joan Thomas Invitational tournaments at Twin Hills. Jimmy's past affiliations include Webb City Councilman, a member of Twin Hills Golf and Country Club, serving on the Board of Directors, for numerous years, the Joplin Elks Lodge, and the Webb City Lions Club.

Jimmy married Joan Locke on Aug. 16, 1956, in Joplin. She preceded him in death on Feb. 10, 2006. He was also preceded in death by his parents; and a brother, Elroy Thomas.

Survivors include his son, Steve Thomas and wife, Tammy, Carl Junction, Mo.; a daughter, Traci Thomas, Webb City; a sister, Helen Wright and husband, Charles, Overland Park, Kan.; three grandchildren, Tyler and Micah Thomas, and Chancy Orem; and one great-granddaughter, Kynlee, who was the light of his life.

The family would like to express their sincere appreciation and thanks to the staff at Quaker Hill Skilled Nursing for the quality of care given to Jimmy.

In honoring Jimmy's request, his body will be donated to the Anatomy Dept. at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. A private graveside service will be held at a later date at the Mt. Hope Cemetery.

Memorial contributions are requested to the J. Thomas Golf Scholarship at MSSU Foundation, 3950 Newman Road, Joplin, Mo. 64801.

Arrangements have been entrusted to the Hedge-Lewis Funeral Home of Webb City, Mo.

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