George Alexander “Sandy” Thomas died March 17, 2013. He was diagnosed with adult onset hydrocephalus in 2001 and gamely endured the consequences until the end. A native of Carthage, NC, he was born July 26, 1933, Pinehurst, NC to parents George Persons Thomas and Zora Lee Frye Thomas, with long time ancestors in Moore County dating to pre-Revolutionary days, and to the father of our country.
As a pre-school child his mother enrolled him in elocution classes and piano lessons, talents that served him well throughout life. He was educated in the Carthage public schools, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (A.B. in English and Music) and “true blue”, Princeton Theological Seminary (B.D., and Th.M. in Old Testament Wisdom Literature), postgraduate studies in American Church History at Duke Divinity, and Theological Studies at Oxford University, England. He served his country in the 101st Airborne Army Band as clarinetist.
He met the love of his life, his heart of hearts, and forever Wednesday girl, Judith Ann Fey, while she was also a graduate student at Princeton Seminary. They were married in 1965 just before he became the Chaplain and Mary McNair Jones Professor of Religion at Peace College, Raleigh, NC. As newly-weds they took up residence in the Merriman-Wynn house (built 1870) on Wilmington Street (now on Blount Street) and became house parents for 8-12 Peace College students who lived upstairs. It was a grand time in the old historic house where they lived for 8 years! He retired from Peace College in 1999 after 34 years.
He loved being Chaplain and Professor at Peace, and he also loved being a Supply Pastor for numerous Presbyterian churches in NC, which he did for many Sundays during his career. He also loved the beach, surf fishing, cooking, Carolina football, cats, gardening, golf and most of all, people. The weekly sermons he wrote for Peace College Chapel reflected his great observation of people, human nature, and God’s love.
The family is extremely grateful to all the nurses, nursing assistants and staff in Glenaire Skilled Nursing where he lived for the past four years, the adult day care staff at the Glade of Glenaire and at the Total Life Centers of Wake County who enhanced his days and made them meaningful and enjoyable, and to the doctors who diagnosed and ministered to him during his time of illness.
He is survived by his devoted wife, Judy, brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Jeffery and Lyn Fey, niece Lucy Johanna and nephew Henry Lee, countless friends and former students, and generations of well-fed cats.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Glenaire Foundation, 4000 Glenaire Circle, Cary, NC 27511, or Princeton Theological Seminary, Box 821, Princeton, NJ.
The Witness to the Resurrection memorial service will be held at Glenaire on Friday at 2 p.m., March 22, 2013. Burial will be in Carthage, NC.
Condolences may be sent to www.BrownWynneCary.com