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Russell A. Thomas

May 4, 1918 October 1, 2013
Russell A. Thomas
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Obituary for Russell A. Thomas
Russell A. Thomas May 4th 1918 – October 1st 2013 Russell Thomas of Brookings passed away at his home at the Macklyn House in Brookings on Tuesday October 1st 2013. He was 95. Russell was born in San Francisco on May 4th 1918. Russell grew up in the Bay Area, graduating from Oakland High School in 1936. Russell was a civilian contractor for Morrison Knudsen Corporation, working on Wake Island in late 1941. Wake Island fell to the Japanese on December 23rd 1941, making Russell a prisoner of war. He spent the next 4 years as a POW, in several camps in China and Japan. He was honorably discharged in October of 1945. After the war he married his first wife Molly and had 3 children, Kathleen, Fred and Michael. In the early 60s Russell moved to Brookings and married Pauline Kelley. He was instrumental in developing the harbor in Brookings. As a boat builder, he built several 50 foot fiberglass fishing vessels. Russell also was a commercial fisherman and loved to be on the water. Russell was a proud member of the Brookings Elks # 1934, where he was a founding member of the Elks RV Travel Club. In retirement, he and his longtime companion Byrdene Perkins traveled throughout the country in their RV. They also enjoyed many cruises together, especially to Hawaii. Every fall he looked forward to traveling to Boise to be at the Wake Island POW reunion. He traveled to his last reunion in the fall of 2010. He spent his last 2 years at the Macklyn House where he could be close to the Elks Club and downtown Brookings, and most importantly have a view of the sea. Russell was preceded in death by his brothers Charles and Ridgway, his first wife Molly, his second wife Pauline and Byrdene Perkins. Russell is survived by his three children, Kathleen, Fred, Mike and step daughter Maureen McCain. Grandchildren; Robert & wife Elizabeth Merrick, Thomas Merrick, Howard & wife Heather Stephens, Russell Stephens, Mollie (Stephens) & husband Matthew Miller, Erin (Thomas) and husband Christopher McCarthy, Cynthia Thomas, Ryan Thomas, Sean Thomas, Mark McCain and Matt McCain. Great grandchildren; Samantha Merrick, Nicole Merrick, Katie and husband Jordan Broder, Aiden McCarthy, Jackson McCarthy, Molly McCarthy, Courtney Thomas, Brooklyn Miller, Peyton Miller , Micah Miller, Katherine McCain, Quinn McCain, Max McCain, Sagen McCain, Kailis McCain. Great great grandson: Jackson Broder. Neice; Susan Thomas. Russell will be buried at sea when the Coast Guard resumes operation in the spring. Russell enjoyed the gift of flowers, so friends who wish to, may send flowers to the Macklyn House, 755 Elk Drive Brookings OR. 97415.
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