In Loving Memory Of
Sherman Thomas, 88, of Charleston, WV died Saturday, December 26, 2009, at
Hubbard Hospice House in Charleston.
was born November 1, 1921 to Lindsay Sherman and Kizziah "Kizzie" Jane
Watson Thomas on Pumpkin Run, just south of the Mason-Dixon Line in western
loved to talk about the farm life and growing up in the rough and beautiful
countryside of narrow dirt roads, steep hills and deep forests.
made agriculture his career. He was smart and loved learning and touching
people's lives, so teaching was a natural way of life for him.
earned his undergraduate degree in agricultural education at West Virginia
University. He later earned his masters degree. Carl taught vocational
agriculture and shop in high schools, most notably at Spencer High School,
Spencer, where he taught for 17 years.
at Spencer, he led the local chapter of the Future Farmers of America (FFA) to
win many state and national contests and awards, and he guided students to
become state and national officers of the FFA.
inspired others to become teachers themselves. He earned national recognition
for being a "Teacher of Teachers." Carl was proud of his students and
their achievements. He moved on to the West Virginia State Department of
Education, and later became the State Supervisor of Vocational Agriculture in
high schools and was the state advisor of the FFA. He later became assistant
director of Post-Secondary and Adult Education, and retired in 1987.
was among the farsighted people who helped develop Cedar Lakes Conference Center
at Ripley. At the time, it was envisioned as a camp for the Future Farmers and
Future Homemakers of America. He was interim supervisor at Cedar Lakes in the
1960's. He helped start the Mountain State Art and Craft Fair at Cedar Lakes. He
worked at the fair for many years, and served on the fair's Board of Trustees.
was a former president of the Roane County Classroom Teachers Association, Roane
County Education Association, Spencer Jaycees, WV Vo-Ag Teachers Association and
the WV Farm and Home Electrification Council. He was a former director of the
WVU College of Agriculture and Forestry Alumni Association.
was very active with the WV Agriculture and Forestry Hall of Fame, having served
as a member of the Executive Board, the Board of Directors, secretary, and
chairman of the Museum Committee. He was enshrined in the Agriculture and
Forestry Hall of Fame.
was a former secretary-treasurer of the Governor's Food and Agriculture
Exhibition. He received the Southern States Cooperative Agriculture Leadership
award. He was the Atlantic Region Vice-President of the National Association of
Supervisors of Vocational Agriculture. He received the Honorary American Farmer
Degree from the National Association of the FFA.
has been honored with many awards, certificates, plaques, watches, and
medallions for his work in agriculture and vocational education.
loved to work with his hands, and he always had a project going. He enjoyed
making and repairing things. He built most of the furniture for his young
household when he settled in Spencer. He liked to say in later years that be
built his own antiques. He was clever and persistent, and always found a way to
make or fix something.
was known for the grandfather clocks he made and gave away to family, and for
the jewel boxes and trays he made and gave away to relatives, friends and to
charity auctions to raise money for the FFA Foundation. His jewel boxes brought
a total of $8,710.00 for the foundation.
had been active in the Masons, having served as Junior Warden and Worshipful
Master of the Moriah Lodge in Spencer, District Deputy Grand Master of the
Fourth Masonic District of WV, Deputy Grand Lecturer of the Masonic Lodge of WV,
and Grand Representative of the Grand Lodge of WV.
served in the United States Marine Corps in the Pacific Theater during World War
II, with extended stays in China and Japan. He was proud of his service and
enjoyed talking about it with all who would listen. He was a member of the
Methodist Church, but he attended First Presbyterian Church of South Charleston
for more than 20 years so that he could be with his second wife, Anita. He was
active in church activies.
him are his son, David Thomas; step-son, Ed Kuhn and wife, Bea; three
step-grandchildren; two step-great-grandchildren; many close nieces and nephews;
and his beloved cat, Gracie.
addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother and five sisters,
Ralph Thomas, Edna Bean, Fern White, Lois Dallison, Bessie Cowell, and Jean
Thomas. His first love and wife, Pansy Howard Thomas, and their daughter, Carol
Elaine Thomas, both proceded him in death. His second wife, Anita Jane Vermilyea
Kuhn Thomas, passed away this past June.
may call at the Owen-Neely Funeral Home in Blacksville from 2-4 & 6-8 PM
Tuesday. Funeral services will be held in the funeral home at 11:00 AM Wednesday
with Rev. Gary McGrew and Rev. Mike King officiating. Burial will follow in
Beverly Hills Memorial Gardens in Westover.
family asks that donations be made in Carl's memory to: WV FFA Foundation, c/o
Don Michael, Rt 1 Box 21-P, Ravenswood, WV 26164 or Kanawha Hospice Care Inc.,
1606 Kanawah Blvd, West, Charleston, WV 25313-2536.