Cooking 02

Jewel Jerry Thomas

November 16, 1937 ~ January 5, 2023 (age 85) 85 Years Old

Jewel Thomas Obituary

Jewel Jerry Thomas resided in Portland, Oregon with his beloved wife, Linda, of twenty-three years. Having lived a humble life for eighty-five years, Jewel was called home to the arms of the Lord on Thursday, January 5, 2023.

Jewel was born November 16, 1937, in Magnolia, Arkansas to the late Otis and Josephine Thomas. Jewel was the 7th of 10 children born to this union (Roosevelt, Nettie Mae, James, Otis, Clarence, Rusevelt, Jewel, Josie, Bobbie, and George). 

In 1956 Jewel left Arkansas with his sister Nettie Mae coming to Portland where he worked with his brother, Roosevelt in the Thomas General Construction Company, before transferring to the shipyard. 

In 1969 Jewel welcomed his daughter Doris into this world, whom he generously doted on. Jewel taught Doris everything, from working on cars to fishing and cooking. 

Jewel loved fishing, camping and of course cooking.  He could cook almost anything, but Jewel was known for his catfish, hamburgers, and BBQ ribs. In 1987 with then partner Rose, they opened Doris’ Café along with her sons Ronnie, Keith, and Sam. In 1993 Doris’ Café moved from N Williams to NE Russell Street. Jewel was privileged to cook for many celebrities, athletes, singers, and comedians. After retiring from Doris Café, Jewel worked in the deli at the Renaissance Market. 

In the year 2000 Jewel married the absolute love of his life, Linda Benson. They shared twenty-three wonderful years together. Jewel and Linda spent many hours driving through the backroads taking in the beauty of Oregon. One of their favorite things was getting together with family during family reunions. Many times, Jewel was the featured cook; he just loved it!

Jewel (PAPA) was so loved by his grandchildren and was the favorite uncle of many of his nieces and nephews. In May of last year Jewel welcomed his first great grandchild, Kimberlee. 

Jewel was preceded in death by his father, Otis, his mother, Josephine, 3 brothers and 3 sisters. 

Jewel leaves many memories that will be cherished by his wife Linda; daughter, Doris (Ljay) Johnson; stepson, Eddie (Marci) Benson; grandchildren, Ayric, Danielle, Hannah, Mariah, Savanna, and Malik; great-granddaughter, Kimberlee; and a host of nieces, nephews, relatives, church family and friends. 

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Jewel Jerry Thomas, please visit our floral store.

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Public Viewing
January 20, 2023

4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Terry Family Funeral Home
2337 N. Williams Ave
Portland, OR 97227

Homegoing Celebration
January 21, 2023

11:00 AM
Emmanuel Church
1033 N. Sumner Street
Portland, OR 97217


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