Oscar Lee Thomas, 84, of Benton Harbor, went home to be with his Lord and Savior on Thursday, November 7 at home surrounded by his family.
Oscar was born to the union of Cleamon and Annie (Naylor) Thomas on October 13, 1935 in Holly Springs, MS. Oscar accepted Christ as his Savior at the age of 42 in March of 1978. From that moment on, Oscar was committed to serving the Lord faithfully.
Oscar married the love of his life, Ruby (Moon) Thomas on June 6, 1959. They were married 55 years until Ruby’s death on July 22, 2014. To this union were born two children, Denise Thomas and Kelvin Darnell Thomas.
Oscar was an Army veteran having served overseas in Germany. He also was a Golden Gloves Michigan State Boxing Champion in 1955 and 1958. Out of 66 fights in his career, he won 61. Thirty-six of those fights were won with a knockout punch. Oscar’s shortest fight ended with him knocking out his opponent in the first 11 seconds of the fight. Oscar worked 27 years at Auto Specialties as the company’s first black foreman. He also worked at Alreco Metals until retirement. Oscar, being a lover of people, found the perfect post retirement job at Signature Toyota as a shuttle driver. He never met a stranger. He thoroughly enjoyed engaging and talking to people with his sweet charm and wonderful sense of humor.
Oscar was a founding member of Unity Bible Baptist Church since 1978. He held Unity dear as a church that he loved and actually helped build. He served as a Deacon, Chairman of the Missions and Evangelism Committee, and Sunday School Teacher for over 35 years. He also served with several of his brothers in Christ from Unity in the Forgotten Man Ministries Jail Ministry.
Oscar will be remembered for his love and dedication to Jesus his Savior, his passionate love for his family, his tender heart of compassion, and his wonderful sense of humor. He and his wife loved to entertain people in their home. Few things brought him more joy than spending time with his family, and pouring the love of Christ into those around him, especially young men. His favorite pastimes were attending Benton Harbor High School basketball & football games, along with golfing, fishing, family dinners and Church events.
Oscar is survived by his children Denise Thomas and Kelvin (Roseline) Thomas both from Benton Harbor, MI. His two grandsons, Darnell Tre Thomas and Christian Lee Thomas; one brother, Eddie Thomas, Benton Harbor, MI; two Goddaughters Nikki Foster and Angel Ash and a special family friend and caregiver Liz King as well as a host of nieces, nephews and friends.
Oscar was preceded in death by his wife of 55 years, Ruby Thomas and brother Albert “Mickey” Thomas.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Strong Women of Faith Breast Cancer Support Group at P.O. Box 8689, Benton Harbor MI 49022
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