George Thomas Obituary
George Brinton Thomas III photos George Brinton Thomas III photos

There are 90 photos in the gallery

Service Information

 
In Memory of

George Brinton Thomas III

October 27, 1945 - June 17, 2011
Obituary

George Brinton Thomas III of Harker Heights, Texas, died on Friday, June 17, 2011, in a bicycling accident. There will be a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Paul Chong Hasang Catholic Church on Friday, June 24, 2011 at 10:30am with Father Ciaran McCarthaigh MSC as celebrant. Burial will follow with military honors at Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery. He was born on October 27, 1945, in Brooklyn, New York, the son of George Brinton Thomas, Jr., and Jean Russell Thomas, the grandson of George Brinton Thomas, Sr., and Mary Eliza Wright Thomas of Millburn, New Jersey, and of Benjamin Franklin Russell and Emeline Smith Russell of Great...
George Brinton Thomas III of Harker Heights, Texas, died on Friday, June 17, 2011, in a bicycling accident. There will be a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Paul Chong Hasang Catholic Church on Friday, June 24, 2011 at 10:30am with Father Ciaran McCarthaigh MSC as celebrant. Burial will follow with military honors at Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery.

He was born on October 27, 1945, in Brooklyn, New York, the son of George Brinton Thomas, Jr., and Jean Russell Thomas, the grandson of George Brinton Thomas, Sr., and Mary Eliza Wright Thomas of Millburn, New Jersey, and of Benjamin Franklin Russell and Emeline Smith Russell of Great Neck, New York.

He grew up in Summit, New Jersey, graduating from Summit High School in 1964, where he was a member of the German club, played on the soccer team, and participated in track. He was active in Boy Scouts, attaining the rank of Life Scout. He won several regional awards for Native American crafts and dance, and distinguished himself with his knowledge of American Indian history.

He attended the University of Arizona and earned a Bachelor of Arts in 1968 and a Masters of Arts in anthropology in 1970.
Shortly after graduation he joined an archeological team excavating pre-Columbian ruins in Mitla, Oaxaca, Mexico, where he was active for several years.

He enlisted in the United States Army and was trained in aerial reconnaissance at Fort Hood, Texas. During his spare time during military service, he re-activated the archeological club of Fort Hood. He was able to apply his expertise in interpreting aerial photographs to determine from the features of a landscape if a site would be likely to be worthy of archeological exploration. His published findings attracted professional attention in the field. He was a frequent contributor to the Fort Hood Sentinel.

A lifelong athlete, George was an accomplished long-distance runner. In mid-life, he took up bicycling, soon performing at a competitive level. As an unknown novice, he placed highly in the first bicycle race he ever entered, to the surprise of many, and was quickly recruited into a respected cycling club.

After his stint in the military ended, he joined the Civil Service, serving in various capacities throughout the length of his career. During one assignment in Heidelberg, Germany, he took advantage of his knowledge and love of the German language to connect with German bicycling enthusiasts and to explore the European countryside.

After retirement from the Civil Service, he again was able to participate in several archeological field expeditions, published in the bulletin of the Texas Archeological Society, and taught college-level archeology and anthropology in the educational programs of the Texas penitentiary system.

He is survived by his wife, Frances M. Thomas, children: Monique Mendoza, Talmage Mendoza, James Mendoza and Russell Mendoza, his brother, Franklin Russell Thomas, and a sister-in-law, Sandra Freed Thomas, of Greenfield, Massachusetts, his sister, Mary Elizabeth Thomas, of Wendell, Massachusetts, his nephew, Scott Russell Thomas, of Great Barrington, Massachusetts, and his niece, Kimberly Freed (Thomas) Hake, of Greenfield, Massachusetts.

George is remembered very fondly for his intelligence, kindness, thoughtfulness, sincerity, and, notoriously, for his remarkable and unique sense of humor. He modestly referred to his highest academic attainment as "P. H. D.," standing for "post-hole digger."

He could find colorful, unexpected, and entertaining words to describe everyday events. In words and actions, he always took the scenic route, and that still holds true, now more than ever.

The family will receive friends on Thursday, June 23, 2011 from 6-8pm at Crawford-Bowers Funeral Home and a Rosary will be recited at 7pm.

You may share condolences with the Thomas family online at www.crawfordbowersfuneralhome.com.

Arrangements under the direction of Crawford-Bowers Funeral Home, Killeen, TX.

"I worked with George when he was the editor of the Fort Hood Sentinel back in 1991. It didn't take me long to figure out that he was not only one of the..." Marco Morales (Hartselle, AL)

This Guest Book has 23 entries. View Complete Guest Book

Personalize Your Tribute

Share photos, videos and more with Legacy Memorial Websites. Find out more.

 
Start Planning Today

Make Your Plan Today

Preplanning your funeral or cemetery arrangements gives you and your loved ones peace of mind. Don't wait. Make your plan online today.
Plan Online Now
Send a Card
Send Meals to the Family

Audio Condolences

Use your phone to dial in a free personalized message. Click here to make an entry or listen to recordings from friends and family.