Earl Edward Thomas IV

May 1, 1958June 20, 2014
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Earl Edward Thomas IV, also known as "ET", 56, died Friday, June 20, 2014 at his home in Durham, NC.

Born on the barn side of Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY on May 1, 1958 to Earl E. Thomas III and the late Beverly C. Collins. He attended De Salle Cathedral School and Regional Electronic Training School in Louisville, KY. Earl moved to NC with Nortel in 1984. He was a Sr. Technical Support Engineer with Oracle at his death.

Earl loved boating and camping here at Jordan Lake and Lake Cumberland in KY, University of Louisville and Duke basketball and football, NASCAR and his GTO. He loved music, concerts, and dancing, especially at Mel’s Papa Mojo’s. Earl was a frequent visitor to the DPAC and the Durham Bulls, all the music venues and both Durham and Raleigh downtown restaurants. Famous for his annual Kentucky Derby Party in May, he loved a good oyster roast and roaring fire pits. But what he loved most, was his family and friends. There has never been a more generous and giving person.

Earl and Debbie dated for 10 years. On a recent trip to Gatlinburg, TN, they teased each other when they saw a wedding chapel. Plans were tentative for Fall, 2015.

In addition to his mother, he was preceded in death by his grandparents, Dorothy and Earl Thomas II.

Earl is survived by his fiancé, Deborah T. Johnson; former wife, Renae Worthy; sons, Michael Thomas (Larishia) and Scott Thomas; grandsons, Jacob Thomas-Willoughby and Jordon Thomas; expected granddaughter, Chayla Thomas; father, Earl E. Thomas III; stepmother, Barbara Thomas; siblings, Debra LeFave (Carl), Angie Wade (Jason), Jennifer Welch (Chris), and Steve Thomas (Kim); numerous nieces and nephews; one great niece; goddaughter, Nicole Groft; and godson, Seth Wade. He is also survived by Debbie’s daughters, Julia Szeto (Michael) and Jayne Miano (Nick); and Jayne's children, Noah and Arabelle.

The family will receive friends on Friday, June 27, 2014 from 6-8pm at Brown-Wynne Funeral Home, 200 SE Maynard Road, Cary, NC 27511.

A funeral service will be held 2:00pm Saturday, June 28, 2014 at the funeral home. He will be cremated and then laid to rest at Louisville Memorial Gardens at a later date.

Donations can be made in his memory to Carolina Raptor Center for the love of Jordan Lake eagles:

Live Life Large ~ Dammit Earl


  • Visitation Friday, June 27, 2014
  • Funeral Service Saturday, June 28, 2014

Earl Edward Thomas IV

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Sharon Cameron

July 22, 2016

Earl, it's hard to believe it's been two years since you left. I still find myself picking up the phone to call and check on you and your family. You will always be missed. Until.....

Chris Bettinger

July 21, 2016

Damnit Man, I was shocked to learn of your passing today while looking up Dennis Rivera on Fb. Many a good times shared with you back in the day. Sorry we never got that ride in your GTO. But we did make it out in the boat. Shooo, what a loss. May we meet again on the other side. Peace my friend

Debbie Johnson

October 1, 2014

Sharon Cameron

September 16, 2014

Earl I still can't get over you are gone. You were such a loyal friend to all who knew you. I think of you and Debbie and the boys and wish God had let you stay here longer. He must have needed a hard worker in Heaven because you did work hard and played hard too. You are so missed my friend.

September 16, 2014

There are few memories of my youth that don't include Earl and his boys. He brought so much joy to our lives and left a good impression on all that he met. Our lives are better having known Earl. He is truly missed.

Debbie and Boys,
My thoughts are with you now and forever with dealing with this loss.

Tyger Price

July 31, 2014

I miss you so much, I love you...

Sharon Cameron

July 30, 2014

I was so saddened to hear of Earl "ET's" passing. Earl and I never stopped being friends and he will never be forgotten. I was so happy for him when he told me he had found someone and he was so happy. Earl was a great guy and would do anything for anyone and he helped me so much throughout my life. I loved him and his boys and never forgot them. I am so proud of Michael and Scott and I know Earl was too - he talked about them all the time. He loved life and lived it to the fullest. He loved his family and worked hard. R.I.P. Earl and thanks for the memories - you were a blessing and I'm glad I knew such a wonderful friend.

Brad Hetzel

July 2, 2014

You will never be forgotten...Always in our hearts!
Praise Earl.

Richard Obrien

June 29, 2014

Earl Hazel and I will mist you, I work with Earl from 1987 to 2009, we work on a lot of project together.

Gary Hoskins

June 28, 2014

Earl, will be missed. RIP.