Herbert G. Thomas 1928-2013
WARREN – Herbert Griffith Thomas, 84, passed away Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013, in San Diego, where he spent the winter months. The family is mourning his passing.
Herb was born Nov. 21, 1928, in Warren, to Lisa Ranton Thomas and T. Herbert Thomas, who served as the Trumbull County sheriff.
Herb graduated from Leavittsburg High School, where he was valedictorian and an avid and exceptional athlete, participating in baseball, basketball and track. The Leavittsburg baseball team went to the state finals three years in a row, winning the state championship in 1943. The basketball team won the sectionals two times and the district once, and he qualified for the state track finals in four separate events.
Upon graduation, he was recruited by the MLB Brooklyn Dodgers and Chicago Cubs baseball teams, but elected to attend Western Reserve University on a football scholarship for three years. He also attended Kent State, but eventually graduated from Youngstown State in 1952, receiving a bachelor’s degree in education. He received his master’s in education from Kent State in 1958. He completed three years of law school, but decided to devote his career to the teaching of others.
Before graduation, he began to play baseball in the Youngstown Double A League 1949-55, winning the batting championship in 1949-51-53 and ’55. He was on the McKelvy’s National Amateur Baseball Team that won the title in 1953-54-55 and won the National Amateur Baseball Championship in 1954.
He started teaching at Champion schools in 1952, where he became the elementary principal in 1954, then the high school principal in 1957. From 1960 to 1971, he was the Howland High School principal, followed by superintendent of Champion Schools from 1971 to 1974. He then became superintendent in 1974 at the Liberty schools before retiring in 1982. After recovering from a major heart attack, he became Trumbull County superintendent of schools before retiring for the second time in 1994.
He married Joyce Sterling on April 9,1953, who preceded him in death in 1995. They had one daughter, Lynn Susan Thomas, who survives them both, her husband, Rick Mueller, and two grandsons, Michael and Connor Mueller, the light of his life. His brother, Richard, and wife, Betty, along with their son, Rick, and daughter, Brooke, and great-niece, Devan, also survive him.
On Feb. 18, 2006, Herb married his longtime companion of 10 years, Doris Maloney Resatka, in San Diego at the Maderas Country Club. She survives and her children, Barbara, Joan, Carol, Rich, Diane, Susie and Patty, who loved him dearly, 11 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Herb loved teaching, reading, golf and loved, loved baseball.
He was a life master in duplicate bridge and a longtime member of the Buckeye Club. He volunteered his time to numerous charitable organizations, including March of Dimes, American Heart Association and American Cancer Society, and was the Howland chairman for the United Way.
He was cremated at the Featheringill Mortuary in San Diego.
A memorial luncheon was held Feb. 22 at the Rancho Bernardo Inn in San Diego, attended by family and friends.