David A. Thomas, 70, formerly of Wheeling, West Virginia and a current resident of Hermitage, Pennsylvania, passed away peacefully on Friday, March 22, 2019, at Passavant Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Dave was born in Wheeling, West Virginia on June 11, 1948, to James and Vivian (Gruse) Thomas.
He was married for 45 years to Victoria (Miller) Thomas, who survives him.
Dave was a member of the Knights of Columbus, Our Lady of the Valley #4003 Hermitage Council, where he served as Grand Knight and Financial Secretary. He was responsible for coordinating the Knights of Columbus Free Throw event for numerous years. In addition, he was a fourth degree and honorary lifetime member of the JJ Fitzmartin Assembly #967 Greenville Council, where he served as honor guard. He helped to organize fundraisers for the Willow Center and The ARC of Mercer County.
David was a parishioner at Notre Dame Church in Hermitage, Pennsylvania, where he was the Captain of Ushers and served on the Environmental Committee.
He was an award-winning basketball player, having success at both the high school and collegiate level. He helped lead the boys basketball team at Wheeling Central Catholic High School to achieve the West Virginia state championship in both 1964 and 1966. He stood half-court with his winning teammates in 2016 to be recognized for the 50th anniversary of the state title. At Thiel College in Greenville, Pennsylvania, as a four year letterman in men’s basketball, his Tomcat team won the 1970 Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC) title, earning them an opportunity to play in the NAIA championship. Dave was twice selected to the ALL-PAC basketball team, was selected to the All-Lutheran basketball team and in 1970 was selected to the Outstanding College Athletes in America. Having ranked sixth in the Thiel record book for 408 career field goals and ninth with 508 career rebounds, he was inducted into the Thiel College Athletic Hall of Fame on October 11, 1996. After his playing days, he spent years coaching multiple teams in two states and refereeing his favorite sport for the Ohio High School Athletic Association.
In addition to the hardwood, Dave could often be found on the golf course. He was an active member of multiple leagues, most recently of the Hickory VFW and Shenango Valley Golf Course Leagues.
After graduating with a bachelor’s degree from Thiel College in 1970, Dave started his professional career as a police officer for the Greenville Police Department in Greenville, Pennsylvania from 1970-1978.
He was a founding member of the Fraternal Order of Police Lakeland Lodge #88. He then entered the field of sales and management for DuPont Pharmaceuticals; retiring in 2011. During his retirement, he worked part-time at John Flynn Funeral Home & Crematory, Inc.
In addition to his loving wife, he leaves behind two daughters, Amanda Collins and her husband, Steven, of Salem, Virginia and Johnna Thomas and her husband, Sean Myers, of Hermitage, Pennsylvania; his beloved grandchildren, Noah Nesaw, Chloe Collins, Cooper Collins and a new grandchild set to arrive in early September. Dave is also survived by his father, James Thomas of Wheeling, West Virginia; three siblings, Jeffrey Thomas (wife, Mary Jane) of Mount Juliet, Tennessee, Tom Thomas (wife, Brenda) of Wheeling, West Virginia and Michelle Nelson (husband, Gary) of Boca Raton, Florida and a special aunt, Shirley “Sam” McCloskey of Wheeling, West Virginia. There are also many other aunts, uncles, sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, nieces, nephews, cousins, friends and loved ones who have been touched by Dave’s laughter and giving manner.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Vivian (Gruse) Thomas.
Calling hours will be held Tuesday, March 26, 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. at John Flynn Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc. in Hermitage.
A Memorial Mass will be held Wednesday, March 27, 11:00 a.m. at Church of Notre Dame, 2325 Highland Road in Hemitage.
A television tribute will air Wednesday, March 27 at the following approximate times: 6:41 a.m. WYTV and 8:41 a.m. MyYTV and 9:58 a.m. on FOX plus two additional spots throughout the day.