Ernest Leslie Thomas, Jr.

Ernest Leslie Thomas, Jr.

June 21, 77, La Grange

Ernest Leslie Thomas, Jr. passed away Sunday, June 21, 2020. Ernest was born in Lenoir County on January 1, 1943 to the late Ernest Leslie Thomas, Sr. and Vallie Mae Sowers Thomas.

Ernest met the love of his life, Joyce, at a dance at the Goldsboro National Guard Armory over 60 years ago. He was determined to spend his life with Joyce, and together they shared 56 years of marriage. One of Ernest’s greatest blessings was the gift of a son, Jeff. His family was everything to him, and he was proud to become “Papa” to Hunter, Payne and Shaun. Kind and loving, Ernest was a wonderful role model for his son and grandsons.

Ernest always found the good in others. Never meeting a stranger, Ernest enjoyed spending time with others and engaging in good conversation.

Ernest stayed on the move and found pleasure in golf, fishing, or bowling with friends. His morning sit-down with the breakfast club at Ken’s Grill was the highlight of his day. When at home, Ernest could usually be found piddling around the house.

A graveside service to celebrate and remember Ernest’s life will be held at Fairview Cemetery on Wednesday, June 26, 2020 at 9 a.m. A time of fellowship will follow the graveside service.

Ernest is survived by his wife and best friend, Joyce Starling Thomas; son, Jeff Thomas and wife, Pam; grandchildren, Hunter and Payne Thomas; sisters, Joyce Daniels and Gail Cramer; sister in law, Andra Price; and a special nephew, Larry Rogers, Jr. In addition to his parents, Ernest was preceded in death by a grandson, Shaun Thomas.

Memorials may be made in Ernest’s memory to La Grange Christian Church, P.O. Box 442, La Grange, NC 28551. Online condolences may be expressed at Arrangements are entrusted to Rouse Funeral Home, La Grange