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Anthony "Tony" Thomas

Obituary for Anthony "Tony" Thomas

June 29, 1948 - March 2, 2018
Murray, Kentucky | Age 69


Anthony Wayne Thomas, 69, beloved son, brother, husband, father, Tony Bear and friend, rode into the sunset Friday, March 2, 2018. He was tenderly cared for by his family and the nurses and staff of the Murray-Calloway County Hospital and the Anna Mae Owen Residential Hospice House.
Tony was born June 29, 1948, in Murray, Kentucky, to teenagers Chester and Toopie Rowland Thomas.
Chester taught him the fundamentals of baseball and the delight of fierce competition and Toopie taught him the joy of creativity in the kitchen, sewing room and workshop.
Tony graduated in 1966 from Murray High School, where he played football, basketball and his personal favorite, baseball. He was named to the MHS Baseball Hall of Fame. After graduation from high school, he attended Murray State University, where he was elected president of his freshman class. He felt the call of duty, dropped out of college and joined the U.S. Marine Corps, proudly serving his country in Vietnam, where he received two Purple Hearts.
He returned to his hometown and enjoyed his years in the workforce, where he was loved and respected by those he managed through the years. He demanded hard work and commitment and a common-sense approach to problem-solving. More than one young person has called him a father figure.
Tony married Tonda Leah Parker, his partner in adventure, on Dec. 15, 1984, and together they loved and enjoyed their four children, Mark, Antoinya, Todd and Jason. Their years together were spent at ball games, golfing, camping, trail riding their horses and motorcycle trips. They had recently discovered the joy of life on the road in their fifth-wheel camper. They were happiest when they were outside, no matter the weather, or spending time with their grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his father, Chester, and his youngest brother, Mark Andrew.
Tony is survived by his wife, Tonda Leah; his mother and stepfather, Toopie and Aubrey Moore; his brother, Barry Thomas and wife Teresa; and his only sister, Sandy Thomas Fulton; his daughter, Antoinya Leigh Garland and husband Greg; a son, Justin Todd and fiancé Melissa Drake; his bonus son, Mark Robertson West and wife Holly; and his youngest bonus son, Jason Parker West and wife Anna; his grandchildren, Torie Garland, Jeremiah Garland, Cadet Keegan West, Cadet Lexi West, Kyle West and Daisy West; three great-grandchildren; and his special pet, Romie Thomas. He also leaves precious nieces and nephews scattered around and dear family members in Michigan.
A celebration of Tony's life will be at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 25, 2018, at University Church of Christ. The family will greet friends from 12:30 p.m. until the service hour, when a short remembrance service will be held. David Gallagher, Mark West and Charley Bazzell will make brief remarks and his stepfather, Aubrey Moore, will share a favorite poem of Tony's. His family will linger for more fellowship following the service.
Expressions of sympathy may be made to the Anna Mae Owen Residential Hospice House or New Pathways Home for Children.
The greatest and simplest gift is always love. Find someone in need and shower them with it. Live, laugh and love big. Tony will be pleased.
Online condolences may be left at
The J.H. Churchill Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

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J. H. Churchill Funeral Home

201 S. 3rd Street
Murray, KY 42071
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