William L. “Bill” Thomas, 97, a longtime resident of Montgomery, died Friday, April 26, 2019 at Watsontown Nursing and Rehab Center.
He was born August 31, 1921 in Allenwood, a son of the late Lewis and Mary Ellen (Reaser) Thomas. On February 5, 1944, he married the former Betty Snook and together they celebrated 62 years of marriage until her death on June 21, 2006.
Bill was a 1939 graduate of Watsontown High School.
He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1942 during World War II. William later served on the front line of the Belgium/German border. Within a few weeks of arriving to this location, the Battle of the Bulge commenced and German soldiers continued their march towards Bill’s division. He and his fellow soldiers quickly got ahead of the German’s and found safety in Elsenborn, Belgium. Unfortunately, half of the men were lost trying to escape the oncoming German’s, and Bill, along with others, volunteered to turn around and help guide the lost back to safety. For his heroics, he was awarded the Bronze Star and a battlefield commission to rank of Lieutenant.
After serving his country honorably, Bill worked for many years at the former Philco-Ford, before retiring.
He was a member of St. John’s United Methodist Church, Dewart and the Bower-Decker Post 251 American Legion, Montgomery.
Bill enjoyed the outdoors and was a 50 year member of the Wynding Brook Golf Club. He was very skilled in woodworking and a master craftsman.
Surviving are one brother and sister-in-law, Marlin and Carol Thomas, of Virginia; and numerous nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents and wife, he was predeceased by three brothers, John, Jim and Richard; and three sisters, Marian, Thelma and Evelyn.
Friends will be received from 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday, May 4 at St. John's United Methodist Church, 49 River Road, Dewart, followed by a Memorial Service at 11 a.m.
Burial with full military honors will follow in Twin Hills Memorial Park, Muncy.
The family suggests contributions in Bill’s memory be made to St. John's United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 105, Dewart, PA 17730.