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Jerry A. Thomas

Obituary for Jerry A. Thomas

October 16, 1942 - July 26, 2019
Aurora, Illinois | Age 76


Jerald (Jerry) Anthony Thomas, loving father and grandfather, passed away July 26, 2019. A longtime resident of Aurora, Jerry was born in Charleston, West Virginia on October 16, 1942 to Ronald P. Thomas and Arveda (Rogers) Thomas. His family moved to Aurora in the early 1950s when his father came to study at Aurora College on the GI Bill, starting Jerry's long relationship with the city of Aurora and Aurora University, where he ultimately graduated in 1964.

A gifted athlete, Jerry made a career of coaching and teaching. After marrying Hattie Shaw Narron (deceased 1984), Jerry started his teaching career in Geneva School District in 1964. This began his lifelong love for coaching and developing athletic programs that allowed him to enrich young peoples' lives, many of whom have recognized him not only as a coach, but as a lifelong friend and mentor. Jerry became a full-time tennis instructor at the Aurora Tennis Club in 1976; then, in 1978, became the Head Tennis Pro at the Aurora Country Club, where he served for the next 30 years. Jerry also served as the Men's and Women's Head Tennis Coach at Aurora University for 10 years from 1986-1997.

Jerry is survived by his four children, Jay, Jeff (Stacy), Julia (Adam) Camp, and Melissa (Matt) Noble; his ten grandchildren, Reghan and Nolan (Thomas), Claire and Andrew (Thomas), Olivia, Emma, and Evan (Camp), and Sophia, Alexis, and Mason (Noble). He was preceded in death by his parents; his daughter-in-law, Kathy (2016); his first wife Hattie (1984) as well as his wife of 30 years Paula (Mueller) Thomas, who died in December of 2018.

Jerry will forever be remembered for his love of his family, his dogs, his country music, and the University of West Virginia athletics (nobody would wager which came first in his heart). He loved shopping at farmer's markets and rummaging through antique stores and flea markets. A would-be beach bum, Jerry loved life in his shorts and flip flops - carefree and looking for the next ray of sunshine. Whether fishing, cooking, gardening, or just hanging out with friends, JT loved nothing more than friends around a table, a good meal, and a drink in his hand.

Visitation will take place from 10 A.M. until the start of the memorial service at 12 P.M. on Saturday, August 31, 2019 at The Healy Chapel, 332 W. Downer Pl., Aurora.

In lieu of gifts or flowers, Jerry asked that any donations be made to the American Cancer Society.

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Suggested Memorial Donations

  • In lieu of flowers, American Society.

Arrangements By

Healy Chapel

332 W Downer Pl
Aurora, IL 60506
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