Emmett Louie Thomas
Sr. was born on May 1, 1930 in Tulsa, Oklahoma to Jack Thomas
and Alberta Ross.
When he was 10, his
family migrated to Pixley, CA. However, Oregon was his internal
compass and is where he resided for the majority of his adult
At the age of twenty,
on June 6th, 1950, Emmett proudly joined the United States Air
Force. During the Korean war, he was part of the U.S. bomber
force as a gunner, until it was discovered that he was
proficient in languages. Then his primary job was as a
translator. He was Honorably Discharged in 1960.
education and loved learning. He earned a bachelorís degree
and was proficient in several languages. Any test that was given
to him, he would score exceptionally well--most of the time in
the top one percent. He was a very hard worker and worked for
many different companies He was a meticulous painter and
sandblaster for FMC Shipyard and a union member of Local 10. His
hard work allowed him to raise a big family with his wife (of 16
years) Magdalena Duran. Later, he married Sherrie Howard who
preceded him in death. Another accomplishment was that he was
blessed not only to purchase land for his mom, but was also a
home owner at a time when very few African Americans were given
the opportunity to purchase homes.
Emmett loved life and
lived it to the fullest. He had many hobbies and interests. He
liked to fish. Enjoyed listening to country, jazz, and Christian
music and loved to watch western movies. Cooking was another
passion of his. At one point he wanted to become a chef and open
his own restaurant.
On December 12, 2018
Emmett Thomas Sr., at the age of 88 was called home by his
heavenly father. He was preceded in death by his parents, Jack
Thomas and Alberta Wilson; sister, Polly Brazzel; brothers,
Richard H. Washington and McKinnely Washington; wife, Sherrie
Howard, and by his son Manuel Kim Thomas.
He is survived by: Children: Rachael
Anita, Linda, Emmett Louie Jr., Daniel (Florence), Michael (Gemma),
David, Debra(Charles), Lydia (Frank), and Yvonne. Siblings : Lydia
Beatrice White, Robert William, Moses (Angela) King and Elijah
(Alice) King and host of grandchildren, great-grandchildren and
to Weddle Funeral Service. Service is December 20, 2018 at
10:00 AM at Victory Outreach Church, 16022 SE Stark St,
Portland, Oregon 97233; 2:00 PM Graveside service at Willamette
National Cemetery in Portland, Oregon and Back to Victory
Outreach Church for Repass a 3:00 PM.