James W. “Jim” Thomas
1932 – 2015
James W. “Jim” Thomas, 83, of Port Neches, Texas, passed away on Sunday, September 27, 2015. He was born on January 20, 1932 in Iraan, Texas to William (Bill) Thomas and Jessie Mae Solsbery Thomas (both deceased). He was always proud of being a native Texan! Jim was a United States Army Veteran and a 1958 graduate of Lamar University.
Jim Thomas retired from Chevron-Gulf Oil Port Arthur Refinery in 1989 after working thirty years in the accounting department and he continued to work as a real estate broker and tax consultant up to the present time and ran his own successful Rental Service business.
Jim felt that volunteering in civic organizations allowed him to give a “helping hand” to others and make a difference in his Community. He felt fortunate that he had good health, available time, and a high energy level. He belonged to many organizations and he had chosen those where he could help others and also where he had a knowledge to be of service. Through the years he volunteered in many including the Salvation Army Board in Port Arthur (20 years), Port Neches Senior Citizens Board, the Jefferson County Board for Aging in Beaumont, Chevron Retirees Board, Gulf Credit Union Board (over thirty years), Port Neches Chamber of Commerce, chaired the United Way Fund for ten years, active in the Democratic Party and was Precinct Chairman for over twenty years, AARP Tax aid program for the Elderly, member of the “Gallon” Club at the Blood Center and during 2009, he gave the maximum allowance of blood to his Community, coordinator for the Volunteers’ Tax Training Preparation Program in Jefferson County (six years), active member in the Cashon Grotto branch of the Port Neches Masonic Lodge. Jim Thomas was a member of the First Baptist Church in Port Neches and he help serve at the men’s community breakfast each month. Jim was also a life member of the V.F.W.
In 1997, Jim received the Outstanding Senior Citizen Award from the Port Neches Rotary Club, for his many “community contributions.” In December of 2005, he received a “letter of accommodation” from the AARP Headquarters in Washington D. C. The Internal Revenue Service thanked him for volunteering to perform tax service free to senior citizens. James “Jim” Thomas was awarded the 2006 Public Service Award by the Chevron retirees National Association at its annual meeting. The award recognizes volunteer service in the community and is accompanied by a $1,000.00 contribution from Chevron Corporation to the non-profit organization of the winner’s choice. Thomas requested that his prize be divided between The Salvation Army in Port Arthur and the Port Neches Senior Citizens Center.
Jim also enjoyed cruising. He and his wife Sandy completed a least thirty- five cruises together and this past June completed his voyage around the world while spending the month cruising through Asia. He spent around four hundred seventy days at sea!
Survivors include his loving wife of almost forty years, Dr. Sandra L. Haven, two brothers, Howard Thomas (Frankie and family) and Homer (Butch) Thomas (Betty), brother in law, Jeff Haven (Betty Lou), all of Port Neches; nieces Terre (Zeigler family) of Orlando, FL., Bethany (Mike Sammons) of Norman, OK.; nephews Ryan (Thomas family) of Arlington, TX.; and Bryce Grimes of Beaumont, TX.; pets-Goldie (23 year old bird) and Honey Bun (6 year old dog) and numerous “long time” friends.
Visitation will be on Wednesday, September 30 at Levingston Funeral Home, 2001 Nall St., Port Neches, from 5 to 8 p.m. Funeral service will be at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, October 1 at the First Baptist Church, 1900 Magnolia Ave., Port Neches. Burial will follow at Oak Bluff Memorial Park in Port Neches.