Obituary of William Edward Thomas |

Obituary of William Edward Thomas

William Edward Thomas was born on July 18, 1931 to Lacey William Thomas and Edna Mildred Thomas as the first of their two children (Bills younger sister, Nancy, would be born a couple of years later). Bill was born in Oakland, California and grew up there, primarily at 2532 Cordova, finishing high school at Fremont High in 1949. Bill met Dorothy Joyce Nielsen (Joyce) at Yosemite National Park and they married on September 12, 1953.

Bill was able to get a job with PT&T prior to graduating from high school. After graduating from college, Bill took a job with Bethlehem Steel in Pennsylvania in 1955. Bill and the family returned to Oakland California in 1957 and Bill resumed working for PT&T. As Bill continued to work for PT&T, there were quite a few transfers throughout Northern California, to Sacramento, then Modesto, then the Bay Area (Moraga), Yuba City, (Rough & Ready) and finally Sacramento where Bill finished out his career with PT&T, taking early retirement in 1986. With the transfer to Yuba City the family moved to Rough & Ready in 1964 where Bill and Joyce lived until they built their dream home at Lake Wildwood in 2001. In September 2018 Bill and Joyce moved to Cameron Park, Ca. as his health was declining, to be closer to their family.

Bill and Joyce enjoyed traveling with friends and/or family, going throughout the United States, to Canada, to Mexico, to Europe, and to the islands of Hawaii and the Caribbean. Sometimes these travels were by motorcycle, with Bill and Joyce and Joyce’s brother and sister-in-law, Bob and Lois Nielsen, taking an epic trip by motorcycle throughout the United States in 1986.

Bill loved golf and continued to regularly play golf throughout his life until he was physically no longer able to play. He also collected and sold golf clubs, at one point literally having hundreds of golf clubs! Bill also loved food and entertaining. He would mix drinks and help Joyce determine the menu for the party. To the very end, Bill had a healthy appetite.

Bill passed away peacefully at his home, surrounded by his loving family, on May 19, 2019. He is survived by his wife, of almost 66 years, Joyce. He is also survived by his four children, Steve, Mike, Glen, and Sue, and their spouses. He is also survived by his ten grandchildren, Tom, Brandon, Matthew, Lauren, Jeremy, Laurel, Erin, Niels, Blair, and Andrew. He is also survived by his six great-grandchildren, Cody, Brianna, Emma, Mason, Liam, and Max. A memorial website is available for viewing at

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