James D. Thomas

Thursday, November 2, 2006

Sept. 9, 1926-Oct. 31, 2006

James D. Thomas, 80, Greencastle, died Tuesday at Putnam County Hospital.

Born on Wade Street in Indianapolis, he was the son of J. Donald and Dora Alice (Knauer) Thomas.

Thomas was a 1944 graduate of Reelsville High School and received his bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees from Purdue University. He was a U.S. Coast Guard veteran, serving in the South Pacific during World War II.

He was a professor emeritus, educational leader, civic leader, community philanthropist and author and had been a college professor and administrator with Butler University for six years, with West Virginia State University for 18 years, the West Virginia State Department of Education for six years and was active in Rotary Club, being awarded the Paul Harris Fellowship and serving as district governor for Rotary in West Virginia.

He was also a member of the American Legion Post 58, life member of Putnam County Foundation, helped to establish the Putnam County Museum, founded the Zella Marie Taber Thomas Scholarship, helped establish the Washington Township Alumni Scholarship, was honorary members of the Kappa Delta Phi, FFA, and Boy Scouts of America.

He married Zella Marie Taber Feb. 2, 1947 in Cloverdale. She survives.

Also surviving are children David Alfred Thomas and wife Barb, Gainesville, Fla., Myrna McArthur and husband Bob, Londonberry, N.H., and Joyce Tiggelaar and husband John, Lexington, Ky.; seven grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, and sisters Mary Ellen Cline and Etta Dell Cantonwine.

Services will be at 1 p.m. Saturday at Bittles and Hurt Funeral Home, Greencastle, with Pastor Ross Walters officiating. Burial with military rites will follow at Calcutta Cemetery.

Visitation is 4-8 p.m. Friday at the funeral home.

Memorial contributions can be made to the First Christian Church, 110 S. Indiana St., or the Zella Marie (Taber) Scholarship Fund of the Putnam County Community Foun-dation, Greencastle, 46135.

Condolences can be e-mailed to inbth@keystonegroup.com