James L. ‘Larry’ Thomas, 74, happiest when serving his community and fellow veterans

James L. ‘Larry’ Thomas

OCEAN ISLE BEACH — James L. “Larry” Thomas, 74, passed away Saturday, Feb. 6, 2021, surrounded by his family.

Larry was born in Lee County Jan. 17, 1947, and was the son of the late Sidney G. and Margaret C. Thomas. Larry was also preceded in death by four brothers, Cecil C. Thomas, Gattis B. Thomas, Ted Thomas and Sidney C. Thomas.

Larry is survived by his wife of 30 years, Nikki Cashion Thomas; daughter, Jamie Nicole Thomas of Wilmington; son, James Brian Thomas of Lillington; and, of course, his beloved granddog, Charlie. Larry is also survived by his sisters, Violet Thomas Braxton of Sanford; Ruth Thomas Cashion (Roy) of Sanford and Halford Thomas (Gail) of Broadway.

Larry was a graduate of Boone Trail High School, Campbell College and Lake Forest University, where he received a degree in project management.

Larry served two years in the U.S. Army as an air traffic controller. In 1969, he did a tour in Vietnam with the 1st Air Cavalry Division and received the Air Medal. After the U.S. Army, Larry worked in the hardware industry, retiring from Ace Hardware as regional project manager. He received various awards in his career, including Project Manager of the Year. Following Nikki’s retirement, they relocated to Ocean Isle Beach.

Larry spent much of his time working with veterans in various capacities, including the Leland Veteran’s Clinic and Novant Hospital in Bolivia, helping to ensure veterans were receiving their appropriate benefits and recognition for their service. He served three years as board chairman with Welcome Home Veterans in Mooresville. It could be said that Larry was happiest when he was serving his community with his fellow veterans.

Larry, known as “Saint Larry” by friends, was an avid bicyclist, hiker and traveler. Larry, Nikki, Jamie and many close friends traveled to numerous countries, hiking many mountains throughout the years as well as following the Carolina Panthers to two Super Bowls. His other interests included antique cars, especially his Blue Cobra. He belonged to the Tri Beach Cruisers Car Club of Shallotte and was a charter member of The Rusty Nuts Car Club, Mooresville.

A graveside service will be held at 1 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 13, at Leaflet Presbyterian Church, Broadway. A memorial service will be held later at Welcome Home Veterans, Mooresville, with the date to be determined.

In lieu of flowers, please send contributions to Welcome Home Veterans, 165 N. Main St., Mooresville, NC 28115; or Leaflet Presbyterian Church, 7830 McDougald Road, Broadway, NC 27505.

The family would like to thank Kim, his hospice nurse, for her compassion and caring, along with the staff of Lower Cape Fear Lifecare at the Hospice House of Brunswick.

Share online condolences with the family at Brunswick Funeral Service.

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