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James's Story

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James Byron Thomas died April 15, 2017 in Chickasha, Oklahoma. He was born March 2, 1947 in Lawton, Oklahoma to James Clarence Thomas and Ruth (Chapman) Thomas. After graduating from Lawton High, he enlisted in the Navy in 1966 and became a corpsman in Vietnam. He was shot down in a helicopter on May 29, 1968 and received a purple heart for his injuries.
James was married to Emma and that union resulted in two children, Scott and Michelle.
James later moved to Lawton in 1979 where he met and married Terri Ganse in October 14, 1982. They were married 34.5 years. That marriage resulted in two sons, Kevin and Kyle.
After getting out of the Navy, he went to Sparks in Ft. Smith, Arkansas and became a Radiologic Technologist. James worked in numerous hospitals in Lawton, Chickasha, and Oklahoma City. He retired from Mercy and The Heart Hospital in 2010.
James joined the Navy reserves for a while then transferred to the Air National Guard. He had a total of 36 years of service when he retired from the military and he achieved the rank of Master Sergeant.
Jim Thomas was preceded in death by his mother and father.
He is survived by his sister, Carolyn Pingry of Lawton; his wife, Terri; his son, Scott and wife, Nora and daughter, Michelle Elsey and husband, Bryan all of Sanger, TX; his son, Kevin of Norman, OK and son, Kyle of Chickasha, OK; grandchildren, Tanner and Madison Thomas, Brennan Bloom, Cody and Emma Elsey all of Sanger, TX, and Kaleb and Tyler Forshee of Chickasha, OK.
Viewing will be at Primrose Funeral Service in Norman from 5-8pm on Tuesday and from 8-3pm and 5-8pm on Wednesday
Funeral Services are scheduled for 12pm on Thursday, April 20 with Pastor Mark Shorey of First Assembly of God in Chickasha. Burial will be at Ft. Sill National Cemetery in Elgin at 2pm.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Integris Foundation 3030 NW Expressway Suite 1600 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73112, in memory of James B. Thomas, to aid in patients' fight against cancer.
Published on April 18, 2017
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