A funeral Mass for retired 1st Sgt. James H. “Jim” Thomas, 80, of Killeen, will be at 9 a.m. Wednesday at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Killeen, followed by the committal with military honors at 11 a.m. at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery. All are invited to attend.
Mr. Thomas died July 15, 2021, surrounded by his wife and children.
He was born July 8, 1941, in Paso Robles, California.
It is with great sadness that we announce Blue Bell ice cream has lost its most loyal customer.
Thomas proudly served his country in the U.S. Army and was a decorated veteran. He served in the Vietnam War and spent 26 years on active duty.
When Jim was 16, his mother signed the documents that allowed him to join the Army. His basic training soon started at Fort Hood. He would go on to serve in the Vietnam War with some of his closest friends. For Jim that was an honor.
After serving in Vietnam, Jim’s army career led him to many different duty stations all over the United States and abroad, to include Germany and Korea, two countries that became close to his heart.
During his time in Korea, he met and fell in love with Keum Ja Jung. The happy couple married in 1962 and their marriage spanned over 60 years.
Keum Ja was the love of his life and he would often say her cooking was pretty good too.
Well, that is until he was diagnosed with diabetes, and then he complained loudly to all that she kept him on a diet of boiled chicken and vegetables.
We are positive that the pale, tasteless chicken contributed to his quick weight loss. Or it may have been the ban on Blue Bell ice cream in the house. We will never know.
Jim went on to start another career after he retired from the military at the Apache Craft Shop. He often said if you loved what you were doing you weren’t really working.
While most seniors shied away from new technology, he fully embraced it, as attested to by the number of viruses he would get on his computers.
He didn’t really care about the social network side, but he absolutely loved funny YouTube videos. He said they were educational.
Jim was an artist at heart and loved creating things, mentoring, and meeting new soldiers and their families.
He retired after 35 years of civil service employment to take care of his wife, whose eyesight was failing.
Family was what was most important to him, he was a good and kind husband, father, and friend.
Jim and his wife were members of St. Joseph Catholic Church where he was a tireless and selfless volunteer. He was an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, part of the marriage prep team, and a fourth degree member of the Knights of Columbus.
If you knew Jim, you knew how important his walk with Christ was and that he had a servant’s heart.
Jim was preceded in death by his son, Chris; his grandson, Jimmy; his parents and by his brother, Mike.
Survivors include his wife, Keum Ja; children, Christine (Paul), Richard, Faie (Ron), and Tina (Mike); grandchildren Marion, Thomas, Justine, and Jasmin; great-grandchildren; Jayden, Malachi, Jameson, Rafael, and Jordyn.
We take comfort in knowing that he has been reunited with Chris and Jimmy.
The family chooses to remember him with a scripture from 2 Timothy 4:7 — “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
Crawford-Bowers Funeral Home in Killeen is in charge of arrangements.