James R. Thomas

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NILES — James Ray Thomas, 62, passed away at 7:50 a.m. Monday, Nov. 28, 2016, at  St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital.

He was born Feb. 24, 1954, in Warren, the son of Vearl Wintsel and Barbara S. Holbrook Thomas.

A 1972 graduate of Niles McKinley High School, he worked for several years in the hot mill area at U.S. Steel. For more than 30 years, he was the operator of the McQuaids Sunoco Gas Station at U.S. Route 442 and North Road in Niles and later retired from the Girard Route 422 McQuaids station.

He was a member of the Brookfield Conservation Club and enjoyed the Tuesday night turkey shoots. He also enjoyed riding dirt bikes, four-wheelers and his scenic motorcycle rides to Geneva with his friends. He played the guitar and loved all types of music. He spent most days at the Niles Wellness Center and was a die-hard Michigan Wolverines and Niles McKinley Red Dragon football fan.

Most of all, he cherished the time spent with his family; he was the “Best Husband and Best Papa in the World.”

James is survived by his wife, Nina P. Pierce Thomas, whom he married Oct. 7, 1977; his mother, Barbara S. Thomas of Niles; two sons, James Vearl (Jessica) Thomas Sr. of Columbus and Jeffrey (Mechee) Thomas of Girard; four grandsons, James Vearl Thomas Jr., Jacob Christopher Thomas, Luke Darius Thomas and Liam Sterling Thomas; four sisters, Renee (Don) Cormell of McDonald, Pam (John) Gargano of Niles, Rita (Merle Jr.) Smith of Jackson, Miss., and Deanna Thomas of Girard; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.

Calling hours will be 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec.1, 2016, at Holeton-Yuhasz Funeral Home. The funeral will be 11 a.m. Friday, Dec. 2, 2016, at the funeral home. The Rev. Curtis Miller will officiate.

Burial will be in Niles City Cemetery.

Visit holetonyuhasz.com to view this tribute and send condolences.

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