Mr. Wayne Rodney Thomas, age 81, of Ruffin, peacefully went to be with the Lord on Thursday, March 25th 2021 with his family by his side.
He was born on August 18, 1939 in Georgetown, SC, to Reginald and Sadie Thomas, eventually moving to Ruffin, SC with his family where he graduated High School. Wayne was enlisted in the Army guarding missile silos from 1958-1961 after high school and returned to Ruffin afterward where he married in 1965, raised his family and became a beloved and active member of his community. Family was very important to him and his number one priority. He was an active member serving Tabor United Methodist Church in Ruffin, SC and loved to serve the Lord with all of his heart and spread love amongst his community and beyond. He was always reliable and eager to lend a hand to anyone who was in need and the first to organize a team to help out when more hands were needed to complete the job.
Before he retired, he was a Nuclear Instructor at the Charleston Naval Shipyard for 33 years. Some of his other accomplishments included Church Council Chairman, Church School Superintendent, Church School Teacher, and Church Trustee. He was an active member of the Ruffin United Methodist Men’s Club.
Baseball was an important aspect of his life from coaching T-Ball, Farm League, Dixie Youth, and Dixie Boys in the Walterboro area and also participated in organizing American Legion Baseball and filled in as game announcer at many games. He enjoyed watching baseball games at home, especially cheering on his favorite teams, the New York Yankees and Carolina football and baseball. Some of Wayne’s other hobbies included woodworking, spending most of the daylight hours in his yard tending the flowers he and his wife, Gloria, cultivated or tending to his vegetable garden.
Wayne is survived by his loving wife of 56 years, Gloria Salisbury Thomas; 2 sons, Brian W. Thomas and fiance Lisa Smith of Ruffin, SC and Cameron W. Thomas and partner Aaron Avalos of Austin, TX; 3 grandchildren, Coral Thomas of Columbia, SC, Logan Thomas of Ruffin, SC and Wade Thomas of Walterboro, SC; 2 great grandchildren, Isaac McCaskey and Emily McCaskey of Columbia SC; 6 nieces and 2 nephews;. He was preceded in death by his parents, Reginald and Sadie Thomas; Sister Angela Crosby and Brother, Samuel “Buddy” Thomas.
Funeral services will be conducted 11 o’clock Thursday morning, April 1, 2021, from Tabor United Methodist Church, 7186 Bells Highway, Ruffin. The Reverend Cheri Yates officiating. Interment with military honors will follow in the churchyard.
Friends may call this Wednesday evening from 6 o’clock until 8 o’clock at THE BRICE W. HERNDON AND SONS FUNERAL HOMES AND CREMATORY, WALTERBORO CHAPEL, 1193 Bells Highway, Walterboro, 843.538.5408. Visit the registry online at: www.briceherndonfuneralhome.com.
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