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William C. Thomas Sr., 78, of Newport News, formerly of Gloucester, passed away at home July 21, 2013, after a long and courageous battle against cancer. His courageous spirit, determination and love of life were an inspiration to those blessed to share his life.

Born in Mamers, N.C., to the late Hurley and Jessie Thomas, Bill was preceded in death by his brother Holloway and his daughter Susan.

Left to cherish his memory are his wife, Carole; sisters, Betty Rogers, Phyllis Thomas and Nancy Cameron; daughters, Rebecca Moore (Edward), Karyn Cunningham, and Christy Murray (Keith); sons, Billy and Ricky Thomas; grandchildren, Jennifer Stewart (Keith), Jeffrey Moore, Dylan Murray, Tyler Murray, William Towner, Ashley Thomas and Sophia Thomas; great-grandchildren, Sydney Stewart, Mason Towner, William Towner Jr., and soon-to-arrive, Addison Stewart; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

Bill retired after a long career in auto sales, and worked most recently as Project Manager at Eagle Point Plantation, Gloucester. He loved anything to do with cars and used to drag race in his “glory days.” He enjoyed playing pool, NASCAR, horses, and spending time with family and friends.

The family would like to extend their heartfelt thanks to all of the friends and family who visited Bill in the last weeks. Special thanks to the angels who helped us say goodbye are sent to Kathy and Wayne Webb, and Sonny, Brenda and Jason Hansford.

A service to celebrate his life will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 27, in the chapel of Amory Funeral Home, Grafton. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the funeral home and at other times at the home of his daughter Becky, 652 Leonard Lane, Newport News.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Peninsula SPCA, 523 J. Clyde Morris Blvd., Newport News, Va. 23601, or the charity of your choice.