Ralph Shannon Thomas


Funeral services for Ralph Shannon Thomas will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018, at 2 p.m. at Park Hill Baptist Church with Rev. John Lee officiating. His family will receive visitors on Tuesday 1-6 p.m. at Reed-Culver Funeral Home. His final resting place will be at Tahlequah City Cemetery. Online condolences for his family may be left at www.reedculver.com.
Pallbearers for Ralph include Tony Clum, Jonathon Thomas, Michael Thomas, Trae Thomas, Dallas Saxton, and Cheyenne Clum. His honorary pallbearers include Brandon Thomas, Nick Thomas, Ian Harrel, Rick Haney, Kaeden Haney and Heath Thomas.
Ralph Shannon Thomas was born on Saturday, Feb. 8, 1927, in Kansas City, Missouri, the eldest child of William Joseph and Dora (McGee) Thomas. The family relocated to Little Rock, Arkansas, where both Ralph and his father were employed for a bakery. Ralph would then move to Tahlequah, Oklahoma, to live with his grandmother and uncle. It was during WWII, and Ralph enlisted in the US Navy when he turned 17. He was trained as a signalman and served aboard the USS Panamint and the USS LSM, receiving the WWII Victory Medal, American Area Campaign, Asiatic Campaign, and Good Conduct Medals. He was honorably discharged on Dec. 5, 1947.
Upon returning to Tahlequah, Ralph would meet and marry the love of his life, Barbara Jean Dunn, and they were married on April 20, 1949. This union was blessed with 65 years and two children, a daughter, Elizabeth, and a son, William. They operated a dairy farm until 1959. Ralph then went to work for the United States Postal Service, retiring in 1986. When he wasn't working, Ralph loved bluegrass music and taught himself to play the five string banjo. He was a Baptist by faith and attended the Park Hill Baptist Church, where he taught Sunday school. He loved his family and any chance he had to spend with his grand- and great-grandchildren was special for Ralph.
His beloved wife Barbara passed from this life in 2014, and Ralph spent the remainder of the time with his family. The Lord called this good and faithful servant home from his labors on Friday, Dec. 7, 2018, at the age of 91 years. He will be greatly missed.
He is preceded in death by his mother and father; wife, Barbara; son, Dale Andrew; and one sister, Betty Jo Black.
He is survived by his daughter, Elizabeth Ann Thomas Clum; and son, William David Thomas. He lives on in his eight grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren, 10 great-great-grandchildren, as well as many cousins, and a host of friends and loved ones.
Published on December 10, 2018
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