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John Wallace Thomas

September 11, 1930 ~ May 11, 2022 (age 91)


Col. John Wallace Thomas, U. S. Army (ret.) 91, of Sapphire, passed away on Wednesday, May 11, 2022. A native of Easley, South Carolina, he was raised in Walhalla, the son of the late John and Inez Crenshaw Thomas. In addition to his parents, he was also preceded in death by his brother, Charles Thomas; his sisters Colleen Harris and Dot Gilley; and his grandson, Paul Richards.

Colonel Thomas served during both the Korean Conflict and the Vietnam War, earning 4 Bronze Stars, The Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal and Master Army Aviator Badge among his many achievements. He was always honored and proud of the opportunity he had to serve his country and the achievements bestowed upon him.

The consummate Southern Gentleman, he loved people and was very family oriented. Even though he had traveled all over the world, he always held his connections with friends and classmates from Walhalla, often attending reunions and banquets. He enjoyed restoring and renovating airplanes and always enjoyed flying both his airplanes as well as helicopters.  

But his greatest love and joy was family: his wife, Sue, his children and grandchildren, and his dogs.

His loving survivors include his wife of 40 years, Sue Thomas; his daughters: Alisa Teval (Idel) and Betsy Bianco (Paolo); and his grandchildren: Thomas Richards, Anna Bianco and Luca Bianco.

Services for Col. Thomas will be held in Arlington National Cemetery. Arrangements for a local service to honor Col. Thomas will be announced at a later date.

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