William L. Thomas (Bill) of Newport, Oregon passed away peacefully on October the 10th, 2019 in Warrenton, Oregon.
Bill was born on July 31st, 1933 to Oswald & Beatrice Thomas. He is survived by his brother Gerald Thomas who lives in Newport. Bill preferred to be called Shag by everyone who knew and worked with him at Georgia-Pacific. After graduating high school in 1951, Bill joined the 82nd Airborne, where he served for four years and made it to Sergeant. When he returned home from service, Bill married his high school sweetheart Vadas Wheling (AKA Sam), whom he grew up with since the 8th grade. Together they lived in Newport and they raised their two sons, Anthony Thomas of Newport, Oregon and Richard Thomas of Gearhart, Oregon.
Shag worked 39 years at Georgia-Pacific in Toledo as a machine tender and retired in 1994. Dad had a big passion for gold mining; his sons often said that he should have been born in 1849 so he could have been in on the big Gold Rush. Many a summer was spent camping at Yellow Bottom Campground, located in Quartzeville of the Cascades with Shag’s family and friends that shared his passion for gold mining and storytelling. He had a zest for life and loved to tell stories - lots of stories. After retirement, Shag and his wife Vadas spent 6 years traveling with their three dogs in their motor home, seeing as many states as they could while able.
Later in life, they moved to the valley for a few years and spent their last 9 years in Seaside close to their youngest son before passing. Mom passed away on Labor Day of 2017. Dad will be greatly missed and is now joined with his wife and three dogs up in the hills near Quartzeville along with a Gold Pan with his name on it painted in gold as his remembrance to the world.
We will miss you Mom & Dad. We are glad and honored to have had you as our parents.