Melbern Ray Thomas
March 15, 1926 – May 19, 2019
Melbern Ray Thomas, 93, of Cary, North Carolina, passed away May 19, 2019.
He was born in Barber, Arkansas in 1926, the son of J. Beal Thomas and Lessie (McGee) Thomas. He grew up on a farm with his family and talked fondly of learning how to drive the farm truck and learning how to swim in the local pond, making sure not to swim in the watering hole for the cattle. He served in the Navy during World War II on the USS Grimes. He courageously fought carrying troops to the beaches in the battle of Iwo Jima and spoke of the bells of Tokyo Bay when they pulled in that August.
Following his service he worked for General Motors in Detroit and then in Kansas City as a line supervisor until his retirement. He always appreciated the invention of the automatic transmission and knew his way around an oil change. He was a kind, loving husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather with patience beyond measure. He was always up for a game of dominos and a card shark at any card game he played.
He is preceded in death by his father J. Beal Thomas of Arkansas, his mother Lessie Thomas of Arkansas, his sister Bernice Peoples of Texas, his sister Marie Pennington of Arkansas, his brother Levaun Thomas of Arkansas, his brother Paul Ed of Arkansas.
He is survived by his wife of nearly 72 years, Willa Dean Thomas of Cary, North Carolina, his sister Betty Sue Kline of Arkansas, daughter Cheryl Jones and husband, Dan Jones of Cary, North Carolina, grandson Chris Jones of Raleigh, North Carolina, granddaughter Amanda Tapp, and husband, Brian Tapp of Raleigh, North Carolina, and great-granddaughter Emily Tapp.
Graveside services will be held at 11:00am on May 28, 2019 at Raleigh Memorial Park.
- Graveside Service Tuesday, May 28, 2019