Jimmy Denton Thomas, of Okmulgee, passed away at his home on Wednesday, January 24, 2024, at the age of 88. Jim was born on April 22, 1935, in Paris, Ark. alongside his twin brother, Benny, to Robert Fay and Norma Pansy (Cooper) Thomas.
At the age of four, Jim’s journey took his family from Arkansas to California where he spent most of his formative years, eventually returning to Paris, Ark., where he graduated high school.
Jim’s life was marked by a deep sense of duty and he proudly served our country in the United States National Guard at Fort Chaffee, Ark.
An avid lover of all things sports, Jim can be remembered as having coached his son’s little league baseball teams, refereeing the high school basketball games, running the chains during the high school football games, as well as playing softball well into his 50s. Additionally, Jimmy was a proud lifetime member of the Okmulgee Elks Lodge.
Jim’s career started with the United States Forestry Service and continued as a surveyor for the United States Department of Agriculture Soil Conservation Service where he retired after 30 years. He then went to work for the State of Oklahoma Conservation Commission Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation (AML) Program as a field inspector until he again retired.
Jim found love with his wife of over 40 years, Lillian F. Thomas, whom he married on February 12, 1982.
In his retirement, through his wife Lillian, he became involved in various activities and organizations within the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, including volunteering to work at the Senior Citizens Gift Shop, driving the van for the Elder Services field trips, volunteering at several Education Services challenge bowls, and participating with his wife in the April 22, 1935 – January 24, 2024
walking program. In addition, he had a host of friends at the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Nutrition Center where he and Lillian ate lunch daily.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents, Robert Fay and Norma (Cooper) Thomas; his twin brother, Benny Lenton Thomas; and his eldest son, Dean Keith (“Deke”) Thomas.
He leaves behind a legacy of cherished memories with his devoted family, wife Lillian Thomas; son Michael Thomas and his wife Teresa; daughter Renae Raburn and her husband Perry; daughter Shelley Aary and her husband Doug; daughter Roberta Lynn “Robbie” Thomas; step-daughter Natalie Garrett, step-daughter Lila Garrett; grandchildren Jeremy Thomas, Chris Thomas, Eden Pettus and her husband Dustin, Jesse Bear, Sean Raburn, Haley Raburn, J.T. Binning, Elliott Garrett; and a host of great-grandchildren and other loving relatives.
A funeral service in celebration of Jim’s life was held at 1 p.m. on January 29, 2024, at Schaudt’s Okmulgee Funeral Service Chapel, 220 S. Alabama Ave. in Okmulgee. Pastor Jordan Kanuho of Belvin Baptist Church officiated the service, followed by a graveside ceremony at Okmulgee Cemetery.
Arrangements are entrusted to Schaudt’s Okmulgee Funeral Service & Cremation Care. In this time of grief, family and friends are invited to leave kind words of comfort, share special memories, and offer condolences to the family online at www.schaudtfuneralservice. com.