John Charles Thomas
CHARLOTTE - John Charles Thomas, 94, died on Thursday, April 12, 2019 at Sardis Oaks Nursing Home in Charlotte, NC following a long struggle with cancer and dementia.
He leaves his wife of 69 years Ruth ( Jerry) Thomas: his four sons Jeff (Becky), Jack (Mary), Jim (Laura) and Joel (Elizabeth); his five daughters Angie (Kim), Beth (Stan), Melissa (Peter), Jenny (Tim) and Erin; his 23 grandchildren and his 19 great grandchildren.
Born October 14, 1924 in Greensburg, IN, John grew up playing basketball and working hard in school. He graduated Cum Laude from the University of Notre Dame with a BA in Journalism in 1947. John and Jerry were married in November of 1949.
His first job out of college was with the Shelbyville News, where John sold and wrote ads for the Newspaper. Two years later, he took his first advertising agency job as a copy director at a firm in Bloomington, IL. From there, he took a better position at a large agency in Cincinnati and moved Jerry and the three children to Ohio in 1955. The remaining six children were born in Cincinnati and John switched from the agency side to the corporate side with a large manufacturing company as director of advertising.
John took a new job and moved the family to Charlotte, NC in 1973. He held high profile positions in marketing and advertising with Kar Kare Corp. and Homelite prior to starting Boyd, Kellen & Thomas advertising agency in 1984. He branched out on his own to start JC Thomas Marketing Communications in 1987 and finished his career running this agency.
He was active on several boards, foundations and committees at St. Gabriel and Charlotte Catholic HS. He was a highly successful basketball coach in Cincinnati and Charlotte winning numerous City Championships along the way. John held several positions, including President, on the local board of the Business Marketing Association and was also elected to their international Board. In addition, he was President of the Notre Dame Club of Charlotte from 1983 to 1985.
John enjoyed playing golf and especially loved watching his kids and grandkids play all kinds of sports. He was a loving and dedicated husband and a wonderful father, grandfather and great grandfather. He will be sorely missed, but he leaves us with so many great memories.
Funeral services will be held at St. Gabriel Catholic Church on Wednesday, April 17. Visitation starts at 4: 00PM in the Narthex, followed by the funeral mass at 5: 00PM in the church and the reception in the fellowship hall from 6: 00 to 8: 00PM.
In lieu of f lowers, please send any donations to Catholic Social Services.