Burl Jennings Thomas, 85, affectionately known as BJ, (not to be confused with the singer, a long-running family joke), went home to be with the Lord at the Gordon Hospice House on Tuesday, October 6, 2020. Born on March 29, 1935, in Nicholas County, W.Va., he was a son of the late Brady John Thomas and Edna Robinson Thomas.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by siblings, Bonnie, Nelson, Junior and Gene. He was also preceded in death by the love of his life, his wife Sandra.
Surviving are his children, Cammie, Ashleigh, Yvette and Brett; and brothers, Jim and Jerry. Three grandchildren and eight great grandchildren also survive.
BJ joined the Marine Corps in 1952. He was in the Korean War and spent two tours in Vietnam in various engineering battalions. He participated in the initial landing in Vietnam. He spent a tour as a Marine recruiter for the western part of North Carolina. He retired from the Marine Corps and worked in Civil Service as a Heavy Equipment Operator and Crane Inspector. BJ retired a second time working from the same building that he ran while he was an active-duty Marine.
Graveside services are scheduled for 11 a.m. on Tuesday, October 20, 2020, at the National Cemetery in Salisbury, N.C., with full military honors.
Condolences may be sent online to the family to www.nicholsonfunerals.com. Memorials may be given to Hospice & Palliative Care of Iredell County, 2347 Simonton Road, Statesville, NC 28625.
Nicholson Funeral Home is entrusted with the arrangements.