Thomas was born Nov. 14, 1967, at Lamar and graduated from Lamar High School in 1986. He enlisted in the Missouri Army National Guard Feb. 6, 1987, was deployed to Afghanistan in 2009, and was awarded a Bronze Star. Thomas was currently a full-time Operation NCO at Camp Crowder as well as working as a self-employed carpenter. He was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed deer and turkey hunting and fishing, especially if it included sharing the experience with his children. His greatest love was his family and he was looking forward to the birth of his first grandson, Eli Thomas McWilliams, in March.
On June 1, 1990, at Lamar, Mo., Thomas married Mary Elizabeth Grayson and she survives of the home. Also surviving are his son, Michael Thomas McWilliams of the home; daughters, Libby of Lamar, Mo., and her husband, Rusty Mulvaney, currently serving in Afghanistan, and Rachel Noel McWilliams of the home; his parents, Don and Pearl McMurray, Lamar, Mo.; a brother, Tim McWilliams, Lamar; two sisters, Moritta and her husband, Michael Matlock, Springdale, Ark., and Milinda and her husband, Todd Brittain, Webb City; his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Franz and Loretta Penner, Lamar; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Doug and Tina Penner, Lamar, Mo., Bob and Cheryl Raines, Nevada, Kathy Penner, Lamar, Mo., and Robin and Rick Spencer, Cheyenne, Wyo.; and a large extended family. Tom was preceded in death by his maternal grandparents, Verl and Troy Burchell.
The family will receive friends from 6 until 7 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 11, at Daniel Funeral Home. Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 12, at the funeral home. Burial with full military honors will be in Balltown Cemetery near Horton, Mo.
Memorial contributions are suggested to a scholarship fund for the McWilliams children in care of Daniel Funeral Home.
Condolences may be sent at www.danielfuneralhome.net