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Eugene “Gene” Foster Thomas died peacefully at home on August 14, 2023 at the age of 78. He was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year.

Gene was born in 1945 to Carroll Douglas Thomas and Viola (Strigle) Thomas of Gloucester, Virginia. He was preceded in death by his parents and his wife, Linda (Bing) Thomas. He is survived by his wife, Amanda Lee Thomas of Arlington, Virginia; his brother, Carl Douglas Thomas of Moon, Virginia; his two children, William Douglas Thomas of Richmond and Gloucester, Virginia, and Jennifer Thomas Martin of Inwood, West Virginia; his five grandchildren, William Douglas Thomas Jr., Christopher Ryan Thomas, Lyndsay Page Thomas, Jed Thomas Adams, and Danielle Wolfrey, and seven great-grandchildren.

He was a graduate of Christopher Newport College with a B.A. in Philosophy in 1979, Virginia Union University School of Theology with a Master of Theology in 1983, and Boston University School of Theology with a Doctor of Ministry in 1993.

Gene started his professional work as an entrepreneur, a part-owner of M&G Transportation in Gloucester. There wasn’t a truck driving down Virginia highways that he didn’t love nor a trucking company that he wasn’t familiar with. He relished contributing to his family business and helped build up the business model until the Lord called him into ministry.

Gene entered the ministry from Salem United Methodist Church in Mathews, Virginia, and was ordained a United Methodist deacon in 1982 and an elder in 1985. He pastored churches in the Northern Neck, Winchester, Alexandria, New Market, Virginia Beach and Arlington. He served as an assistant on the Rehoboth Charge, consisting of Bluff Point, Wicomico, Rehoboth and Mila United Methodist churches. He pastored the Northern Frederick Charge, consisting of Rest, White Hall and Mount Pleasant United Methodist churches. He served as the senior pastor of Kernstown, Lincolnia, Manor Memorial, Thalia and Clarendon United Methodist churches. He retired from the ministry in 2014. In addition, he was active in the Emmaus community.

As a man of God who loved to worship, Gene appreciated many forms of worship including high church, contemporary, Taize and others. He was eager to share his vast knowledge with anyone who loved to worship the Lord. Because he had an artist’s eye, Gene appreciated and incorporated many artistic elements into his worship including using a church’s architecture to highlight elements of worship. He also had a special place in his heart for men’s ministry.

After his retirement, Gene spent much time serving as a member of the Virginia Society of Sons of the American Revolution (VASSAR), serving as a past state chaplain and as a past president of the George Mason Chapter. He also served as a past president of the Kiwanis Club of Arlington, a docent at the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., and a member of both the Chesapeake Chapter of the United States Lighthouse Society and the Washington Golf and Country Club. He preached the word of God for Rick Bonfim Ministries, and enjoyed having the time to paint.

He was a devoted husband, first to Linda and then to Amanda. He was a devoted father and PawPaw to his beloved grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was a dapper, fastidious, and meticulous man. He wore his formidable intellect lightly and preferred to be known as a country boy. Gene was a man who was born in a small, rural town but relished traveling the world to see his favorite art. Above all, he was a gentle man, who loved and was loved.

A funeral service will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, August 25, 2023, at Clarendon United Methodist Church (606 N. Irving Street, Arlington). A reception will follow at noon at the Washington Golf and Country Club (3017 N. Glebe Road, Arlington). In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the men’s group (Murky Men) at Clarendon United Methodist Church; Manor Memorial United Methodist Church; Rick Bonfim Ministries; or the Virginia Society of Sons of the American Revolution.


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