CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP, Pa. – Philip Boyce Thomas, of Cranberry Township, died Jan. 7, 2014, of respiratory failure; he was 92 years old.
He was born Nov. 30, 1921, in Detroit, the son of John Philip Thomas and Jane Boyce Thomas, and the brother of Robert Charles Thomas, all now deceased. Philip was a 1943 graduate of Albion College. During World War II, he was in the Army Specialized Training Program (ASTP) at the University of Arkansas, where he met Mary Martha Hosford, his future wife. Five years later, in 1949, they were married.
During the war, he served as an enlisted man in the 99th Infantry Division of the U.S. Army in Europe. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge and the Rhinelands Campaign and crossed the Ludendorff Bridge at Remagen with his division. He was wounded shortly afterwards. After the war, he received his professional forestry education at the University of Michigan with a BSF in Forestry in 1947 and a MF in 1948.
He is survived by his wife and their five children: Gordon Philip Thomas (Dene) of Durango, Colo.; Jane Boyce Thomas of Pittsburgh; Stuart Hosford Thomas (Robin) of St. Louis Park, Minn.; Amy Thomas Crandell (Jim) of Austin, Texas; and Blair Charles Thomas (Sheri Doyel) of Lake Geneva, Wis. In addition, Mr. Thomas is survived by five grandchildren: Megan and Kyle Thomas, Philip Crandell, and Abraham and Silas Thomas (twins); three step-grandchildren, Chris Ames, Donna Bintz, and Vicki Smith; three nieces, Sarah Hosford, Julia Barnes, and Lisa Jensen; 11 great-nieces and great-nephews; and five step-grandchildren.
He was employed for his entire professional career of 37 years by Kimberly-Clark Corporation in their forestry operations in the upper Great Lakes States and in Alabama. He retired in 1986. The couple had lived in Iron Mountain; Jacksonville, Ala.; and Washington, DC. They settled in Sherwood Oaks Retirement Community in Cranberry Township, Pa.
Wherever he lived, Philip was a staunch supporter of the Episcopal Church, frequently serving on the vestry and in the choir. He had been a member of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Iron Mountain. At his death, he was a member of Calvary Episcopal Church in Pittsburgh. He was also the leader of Boy Scout Troop 502 in Iron Mountain for several years. He was a member of Delta Sigma Pi Fraternity and the Society of American Foresters.
Philip was kind, always generous with his time, money, and especially his tools, with which he was quite handy, but above all he was generous with his love. Always prepared, he personified the Boy Scout Motto. He will be sorely missed by his large family, who always valued his insights and concerns into any problems they were facing.
His funeral service will be 11 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 25, at Calvary Episcopal Church, 315 Shady Ave., Pittsburgh, Pa.