Harold Oswald Thomas, Sr., 92, of Cedar Creek Road, Arrington, died Thursday morning, November 25, 2021 at home.
Born June 16, 1929, in New Glasgow, Virginia, the son of the late Emmanuel Thomas and Leila Jane Crawford Thomas. He is preceded in death by his wife, Shirley Temple Bell Thomas and great-granddaughter Betty Thomas. He was a graduate of Lovingston High School and was drafted into the United States Marine Corps in 1951. He was a member of Bethel Church of the Brethren for a number of years and Nelson United Methodist Church both of Arrington. He was a member of the American Legion, Rev. E. Clarence Perdue, Sr. Post for 27 years. He was also a member of the Veterans of Foreign War Post 17, the Clifford Ruritan Club, Lynchburg Marine Corps League for a number of years.
During his service in the United States Marine Corps, he was awarded the National Defense Service Medal W/1 Star (awarded twice); Good Conduct Medal w/1 Silver Star (awarded six times); Combat Action Ribbon; Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry w/Palm & Frame; Vietnamese Campaign Medal W/Device; Vietnamese Service Medal w/1 Star (two tours). While in the United States Marine Corps, he went to Auto and Engineer Equipment School – 1965. He was also a Truck Master in a Medical Battalion. He achieved the rank of Gunnery Sergeant (E7) and retired with a honorably discharge on July 23, 1971.
He served as a Deputy Sheriff/Jailer/Dispatcher at the Nelson County Sheriff’s Department between 1971 to 1978. He also worked at the Nelson Food Mart for many years.
He was a carpenter/tinsmith who built many buildings in Nelson and Amherst County with his older brother, Raymond. While at the same time, he farmed at his family home in Amherst as well as the Pinch Neck Farm in Nelson.
He is survived by his children Harold Oswald Thomas, Jr. (Dawn) of Amherst, VA; Alex Nathan Thomas (USMC) (Marty) of Morristown, TN; Robin Michelle Thomas Beach of Monroe, NC; Sheryl Gale Thomas Morris (Jeff-USN) of Rockfish Depot, VA; Bryon Keith Thomas of Arrington, VA; brother-in-law Lester M. Bell (Audrey) of Lynchburg, VA; Doris Ann Bryant (Scott) nine grandchildren-Warren, Corydon (USAF), Adam (Dr. P.T.), Erin, Allison (Rdh.), Dylan (USMC), Colin, Joshua and Sarah; 15 great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.
A funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. Monday, November 29, 2021, at Nelson United Methodist Church with the Rev. Dr. Edwin Clever, the Rev. Debbie Powell, Dr. Rev. Michael Fitzgerald officiating. Interment will be in the family cemetery.
The family will receive friends from 5:30-7:30 Sunday, November 28, 2021, at Well/Sheffield Funeral Chapel.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Marine Corps Association Foundation, 715 Broadway St., Quantico, VA 22134 or mca-marines.org and/or to the Nelson United Methodist Church, 5239 Thomas Nelson Hwy., Arrington, VA 22922 and/or American Legion National Headquarters at mylegion.org, 700 N. Pennsylvania St. P.O. Box 1055, Indianapolis, IN 46206.
Arrangements under the direction of Wells/Sheffield Funeral Chapel, Lovingston, VA (434-263-4097)