Richard Davis Thomas ’42

Richard Davis Thomas died August 15, 2016, in Tallahassee. He was born October 13, 1920, in Tampa, FL, to Walter Wynn and Nina Anderson Thomas.

A graduate of Davidson College and Union Theological Seminary (now Union Presbyterian Seminary), he served as a flight instructor in the U.S. Naval Corps during World War II. Later, he began his career as a pastor at Moscow Presbyterian Church in Kansas City, MO and then served Presbyterian churches in Wynne, AK; Tallahassee, FL; Kingsport, TN, and New Port Richey, FL.

Of particular note was his time at First Presbyterian Church in Tallahassee, where he served as pastor from 1956-1968 and led numerous activities related to desegregation. He retired to Tallahassee in 1985 and attended First Presbyterian until the time of his death. Davis was an avid fisherman, card player, and St. Louis Cardinals baseball fan.

He is survived by his wife of 68 years Virginia Coffin Thomas; sister Nina Thomas Paxton; five children Nancy Andrews (John), Ann Knox (Bob), Martha Gordon (Lyn), Dave Thomas, and Mark Thomas (Sheila); 11 grandchildren; and 8 great-grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his parents, two older siblings, and two grandchildren.

A Service of Witness to the Resurrection will be held at First Presbyterian Church on Saturday, August 20, at 11:00am. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to First Presbyterian Church or Union Presbyterian Seminary, 3401 Brook Road, Richmond, VA 23227.

Published in Tallahassee Democrat on Aug. 17, 2016