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The Thomas Family ties to Gordon County are deeply rooted dating as far back as the early 1800's.
Jesse Wright Thomas better known as “J.W.” was born November 6, 1912 North of the Scottsville Community to Grover Cleveland and Sunie Wright Thomas. He was raised on a farm near the present W.L. Swain Elementary School. As a young adult, he joined the Reeves Baptist Church and was baptized in Robbins Creek nearby. He would graduate Liberty High School (near the local fairgrounds) in 1930. He attended and graduated The Hohenschuh-Carpenter College of Mortuary Science in 1938 of St. Louis, Missouri. With the war inevitable, Mr. Thomas would enlist in 1942 and serve as Technical, 5 Sergeant in World War II. His service was not an easy one as he was captured December 14, 1944 near Bastogne, Belgium. He was liberated from the Nazi Concentration Camp of Buchenwald, Silesia, Germany April 11, 1945. He would be awarded a Purple Heart for wounds received in action, December 17, 1944 in Belgium.
Before deploying for war, he met and married his sweetheart Evelyn Dorris Hammett Thomas. They married November 6, 1943 on J.W.’s 31st birthday.
Evelyn Dorris Hammett was born October 30, 1912 in Atlanta, Georgia to George Washington and Edna Ivey Hammett. She attended The Girl’s High School of Atlanta and graduated in 1931. Her passion was drawing and so she began to attended the High Museum of Art School in Atlanta. With the war looming, she attended Georgia Tech to learn how to be a draftsman. When the war began, she took a position drafting architectural and ship plans for the United States War Department.
After the war, J.W. and Evelyn Thomas purchased Jackson Funeral Home from the Jackson family in December 1945.
The history of the Jackson Funeral Home began with Mr. E.L. Jackson of Bartow County. He came to Calhoun and established his business on the street front of Wall Street in 1899. The building he operated predated the local Gem Theatre.
E.L. Jackson's son, Richard “Dick” Jackson, operated their family business until his untimely early death in the spring of 1945. His widow, Aileen Dyar Jackson, operated the funeral home until J.W. Thomas was discharged from the Army later that year.The business was renamed Thomas Funeral Home and relocated to the former home of Dr. W.A. Richards at 201 North Wall Street, Calhoun, Georgia.This historic landmark structure is now the executive office building of the Gordon County Administrator and Staff.
J.W. and Evelyn welcomed their only son, Bruce Gregory Thomas soon after the war. He graduated from Calhoun High School in 1964. He attended The University of West Georgia and graduated with a Bachelors of Art in 1968. He graduated from the John A. Gupton College of Mortuary Science of Nashville, Tennessee in 1970. He also served in the Georgia National Guard, Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 108th Armor for six years .
The Thomas family built a new building that was completed August 1, 1987 on Red Bud Road.Bruce Gregory Thomas has three children: Sarah Elizabeth, Bruce Gregory Jr, and Stephanie Ellen. He was married to the former Miss Sue Ellen Harbour, a Gordon County native, on January 29, 2011.