Theodore Rayford Thomas, 77, the only son of Victor Warren and Beatrice (Brown) Thomas, was born March 21, 1932, on a farm south of Schell City, and passed from this life at 11:52 a.m., Friday, Feb. 19, 2010, at the Ellett Memorial Hospital, in Appleton City, Mo.
Ted grew up in the Schell City area and graduated from Schell City High School in 1950. He worked briefly as a farmhand before entering the United States Navy in February 1951. He was honorably discharged in 1955. During his service time he was awarded the Good Conduct Medal; Korean Service Medal; National Defense Medal; and the United Nations Service Medal.
On Feb. 26, 1956, Ted was united in marriage to Norma Jean Goble and to this union four children were born. Ted and Norma made their home locally and for many years Ted farmed and hauled livestock. Around 1970, Ted started operating the Standard Service Station that he ran for about 13 years.
While running the station he also worked as City Marshall and was subsequently hired by the Vernon County Sheriff's Office as a deputy. He worked for law enforcement from 1983 to 1996, serving for five and a half years as Vernon County Sheriff. After retiring he continued to work part-time transporting prisoners for the county as needed. He also ran the city road grader and volunteered countless hours on area improvement projects.
Ted was a member of the Harwood Baptist Church; Schell City Rural Fire Department; Schell City Lions Club; Schell City South Ward Alderman; Schell City Community Betterment; Missouri Sheriff's Association; State Line Peace Officers Association; and was a member of the Schell City Lodge No. 448 AF and AM for more than 50 years, joining in 1956.
Survivors inculde his wife Norma, of the home in Schell City; one son Jerry Thomas and his wife Michelle, of Hume, Mo.; two daughters, Teri Thomas, of Schell City, and Jackie McCammon and her husband Jason, of Adrian, Mo.; one sister Edith McCoy and her husband Kenny, of Schell City; 10 grandchildren, Christy Goodman and her husband Jared, Jeremy Maus, Becky Hill and her husband Nick, Brent, Travis, Kelsey, and Brittany Thomas, Katelyn Johnson and her husband Chan, and Jordyn and Emily McCammon; seven great-grandchildren, Cayla, Logan and Jackson Goodman, Ethan Maus, and Raeah and Raeleigh Hill. Ted was preceded in death by his parents; one sister; and his daughter, Raejean, who passed away Nov. 30, 2002.
Funeral services were held at 11 a.m., today, at the First Baptist Church, in Schell City, with Doug Reynolds officiating. Musical selections were "Life's Railway to Heaven," and "Angels Among Us," with Winkie Smith on the piano.
Pallbearers were: Tom Haddix, Paul Palmer, David Bell, Larry Dade, Kenny Hallam, and Quentin Goodman. Honorary pallbearers were: Ron Peckman, Chris Spratt, John Randall, John R. Hoagland, Jim Goodman, Drue Hogland, Rex Diehl, and Kenny McCoy. Interment with Military Honors followed at the Green Lawn Cemetery, in Schell City.
Memorial contributions are suggested to the Schell City Community Building or the Schell City Rural Fire Department. Funeral arrangements were entrusted to the Lewis-Hoagland Funeral Home, in Schell City.