The Society is deeply saddened to announce the passing of its founder, Raymond LeRoy Thomas Jr. on December 11, 2019. The obituary is as follows:
Raymond LeRoy Thomas, Jr., 79 of East Hartford, beloved husband of Barbara E. Sanborn, passed into God’s Kingdom Wednesday, December 11, 2019. Born in Meriden, he was the son of the late Raymond and Lorraine (Petit) Thomas, Sr. of Meriden and Davie, FL. He graduated from St. Laurent’s Elementary School in Meriden, St. Joseph’s High School in Berthierville, Quebec, Canada and attended St Michael’s College in Winooski, VT. He joined the US Navy in 1960 and chose radioman as his rate. His various duty stations included USS MIDWAY CVA-41 and USS Suribachi AE-21; Naval Communications Stations in Finegayen, Guam and Fort Allen PR, Navel Requiting Offices in New Britain and Waterbury, CTG; and various naval schools. He retired in 1982 as a Radioman Chief Petty Officer (E-7). He was then employed by the US Naval Requiting Offices in New Britain and Waterbury, CT, and various naval schools. After a year as a computer programmer in Bridgeport, he was then employed by the US Postal Service in Meriden for 13 years and another 5 years at the Plantsville post office. He retired in 2002.
He was a member of the American Legion, Kiltonic Post # 72 in Southington, and then of the Gray-Dickinson Post # 59 in Windsor. Genealogy was his “thing”. In 1981, he joined the French-Canadian Genealogical Society of CT. He co-founded the Southington Genealogical Society (1984), co-founded the Charette/Charest Family Association (2000), joined the National Association of Leavitt Families (1997), and in 2003 was elected Genealogist of that organization. He volunteered time at the Family History Center at the Southington LDS Church for many years. He also facilitated the Genealogy Club and assisted at the senior net courses in computer and genealogy at the Southington Calendar House. In his spare time, he researched his own family, his 1st wife’s (Shorette & Leavitt) family, helped his current wife with her research and aided anyone else’s family who asked him. In 2009 he started the Genealogy Club at the Windsor Senior Center.
He has been a member of the Baha’i Faith since 1975. Declaring his faith in Baha’u’llah while in Puerto Rico with the Navy. Ray joined, in 1992, the Connecticut Baha’i Chorale, singing with them till the present day. He served on the Southington Baha’i Local Spiritual Assembly for many years. Ray became a member of Baha’i “Voices of Baha”, an internationally known choir, and performed with them at Carnegie Hall in New York in 2002. He was a member of the Southington Interfaith Clergy Association, representing the Baha’is of Southington, until his move to Windsor, serving on the Local Spiritual Assembly of Windsor since 2009.
He is survived by his wife, Barbara Sanborn of East Hartford; his son Raymond L. Thomas, III and his wife Heather of Plantsville; two grandchildren, Natalie Ray and Raymond L. IV; two step children and 7 step grandchildren and a special grandniece, Missy Almquist of Willington; brothers Ronald and his wife Norma of Tahuya, WA, Roger and his wife Denice of Ashville, NC, and Robert of Hollywood, FL; and many nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his parents, his first wife Cecelia Shorette, his daughters Linda Ann in 1966 and Janet Marie in 1980; a sister, Patricia Hicks and stepson, Roger Conley.
There are no calling hours. Family and friends are invited to a Graveside Service, Monday, December 16, 2019, at 10 AM directly at St. Laurent’s Cemetery, 1351 Hanover Avenue, Meriden, CT followed by US Naval Honors. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Raymond Thomas IV Medical Fund, c/o the Thomas Family, 836 Marion Ave. #2, Plantsville, CT 06479. The Carmon Windsor Funeral Home is caring for the arrangements.