Charles Jimmy Thomas, 87, of Cartersville, died on December 1, 2019. Born November 20, 1932, in Sinclair County, AL, he was the son of the late William Howard Thomas and the late Mary Etta Edwards Thomas.
Charles was preceded in death by his sons, Charles J. Thomas, Jr. and Glenn Howard Thomas; his siblings Raymond Thomas, John L. Thomas, Herman Thomas, Sue Durden, Ruth Coker, and Lois Brock; and his second wife, Jeanelle Free Thomas.
He is survived by his daughter and son-in-law Jo Ann and Eddie Branton of Kingston; granddaughters Shiana Humphrey (Greg) of Garner NC, and Emily Thomas of Raleigh NC; the mother of his children, Lucy O. Thomas of Pembroke NC; brother and sister-in-law George and Nell Thomas of Dalton, GA; sister-in-law, Clara Thomas of Dalton GA; goddaughter Angie Langley Albonico and her family of Spearfish SD; and a host of nieces and nephews.
Charles was in the U.S. Army during the Korean War era, training as a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne in Fort Bragg, NC. A patriot to the core, he enjoyed helping the local Shrine and Masonic organizations provide a meal for veterans and first responders to mark Veterans Day.
Charles was a diesel machinist by trade, making the long commute to Atlanta for years. When he decided to stay closer to home, he opened his own machinist’s shop, where he worked for several years. His greatest satisfaction, however, came when he became a school bus driver in the Bartow County system, eventually driving a special education bus for most of his 20-year career.
He also owned Thomas Mobile Home Park, where for over 40 years he provided affordable, family-oriented housing for people looking for a quiet place to live and raise a family.
Children were dear to Charles’ heart. He worked with the youth at Macedonia Baptist Church in the 1970-80s. As a Mason and a Shriner, he took great pride in the medical care provided by Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital. And, of course, he considered the students on his bus as “his kids,” too. He performed as a clown in Shrine parades for several years, performing stunts in a dune buggy.
Charles was a longtime member of Macedonia Baptist Church, Kingston GA. He was a member of Cartersville Shrine Lodge #60, Cartersville Masonic Lodge #63, and Emerson Masonic Lodge #738. He was delighted to receive his 50-year Masonic apron. Positions he held over the years included Master of the Blue Lodge, High Priest of the Royal Arch, Illustrious Master of Council, Chaplain in the local Shrine chapter.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, December 6, 2019, in the chapel of Parnick Jennings Funeral Home and Cremation Services with Reverend Charles Moore and Reverend Forrest Leachman officiating. Burial will follow in Macedonia Baptist Church Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 5, 2019, at the funeral home.
Serving as pallbearers will be Keith Guyton, Mark Brock, Scott Moore, Tim Durden, Harry Worthington, and Britt McGill. Honorary pallbearers will be members of Emerson and Cartersville Masonic Lodges and Eastern Star members from any lodge.
Anyone so wishing may make donations in memory of Charles J. Thomas to the Masonic Home of Georgia Endowment Fund, PO Box 4183, Macon, GA, 31208 or to Shriners Hospitals for Children, Attn: Office of Development, 2900 N. Rocky Point Dr., Tampa, FL 33607.
Parnick Jennings Funeral Home and Cremation Services is honored to serve the family of Charles Jimmy Thomas; please visit www.parnickjenningsfuneral.com to share memories or to post condolence messages.