Jerome (Jerry) Ezell Thomas was born in St. Paul, Minnesota on November 28, 1944 to Ezell Thomas and Thelma Brewer. Jerry was tall and slender, grew to be 6’ 8”, and became known as ‘Slim T’.
Growing up in St. Paul, Jerry loved reading and listening to music. In 1967 he moved from St. Paul to Seattle, Washington. Jerry was known to drive Cadillacs. He would say he needed a Cadillac to accommodate his long legs. During his lifetime he purchased at least twelve Cadillacs, and he would put ‘Slim T’ on his license plates.
Jerry met G. Jean Smith in 1969 and they married for the first time in 1976. After thirteen years apart, they reconnected and remarried in 1989. In 2019 they celebrated 30 years of marriage. Jerry loved to spend time with family and friends. He considered himself a grill master and was often found at the grill during family cookouts. He enjoyed listening to jazz, watching the Minnesota Vikings as well as reading and helping others.
Jerry began working for Union Pacific Railroad in 1973. In 1980 he transferred to Portland, Oregon. He would work the trains from Portland to Seattle and back. Jerry retired from the railroad in 2006 and would always tell people he retired after thirty-three years, three months, and three days.
He joined Mt. Olivet Baptist Church in 1999 and served as a Doorkeeper and Greeter. He enjoyed this ministry because it allowed him to meet people coming through the church doors. He definitely was a people person. He served in this ministry until his health would no longer allow him to continue.
Jerry was 75 years old when he was called home to be with the Lord on February 9, 2020 surrounded by family and friends. Jerry fought a good fight, finished his course, and kept the faith as he transitioned from this life to a place of rest with our Heavenly Father.
Jerry was preceded in death by his parents and brothers Billy Thomas and Donald Thomas.
He leaves to cherish his fond memories: wife G. Jean Thomas; children: Kimberly Thomas (St. Paul, MN), Lucille Smith(Tacoma, WA), Darlene Smith (Gerry) (Gresham, OR), Jerome Riggs (Renton, WA), Marvin Riggs (Lannea) (Lynden, WA), Paris Green-Thomas (Portland, OR); sisters: Robin Brewer (St. Paul, MN) and Beverly Spence (Daryl) (St. Paul, MN); Step brother Wil Tenior (St. Paul, MN); step sisters: Renee Tenoir (Desert Hot Springs, CA) and Kael James (Bill)(Vallejo, CA); step brother: David Tenoir (TX); half brother: Micah Thomas (Fresno, CA); grandsons: Kameron Thomas (St. Paul, MN), Dominique Tucker (Tacoma, WA) and Tyrone Smith (Lynden, WA); granddaughters: Jaeden Riggs (Cedar Park, TX), Makaylah Smith (Lynden, WA), India Green (Portland, OR), Kenya Green (Portland, OR) and Kadence Hurst (Portland, OR); great-grandson Elijah Smith (Portland, OR), uncle Nathaniel White and aunt Bettye White (Los Angeles, CA) and a host of nieces, nephews and friends.
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