Hayward Lee Thomas, 83, of Mooresville, N.C., departed this life on Sunday, September 27, 2020, at his home.
Hayward was born June 26, 1937, to the late Roy Thomas and Julia Thomas. He was a proud Veteran, serving in the West Virginia National Guard, and was called to active U.S. Army duty in 1961 during the Berlin Crisis. He graduated from Sissonville High School in 1956. An active athlete in football, basketball and track, he was known to his friends and coaches as “Possum.” He worked by day supporting his family and went to college at night, graduating from Morris Harvey University, which is now known as University of Charleston, with a Business Degree in 1975. Hayward started working at Evans Lead, now known as Elementis, in May of 1963. He worked in the plant starting as a laborer, rising to become the plant manager after 23 years in 1986. He retired as the Charleston Plant Manager in 2001 to pursue travel, bass fishing and being a full-time grandpa.
During his working years, he served the local Charleston community in many ways: He was a member of the No Name Club (Local Plant ER Managers), KVIAM (Local Plant Managers), CAP (Community Advisory Panel), Participated in United Way Campaigns and was an instructor for American Red Cross CPR/First Aid Training.
Hayward loved the piano, fishing and taking his RV on trips. He gave piano lessons and played in a quartet, choir, and the church for many years. He was a member of the New Prospect Baptist Church. He finished his years of playing the piano for the North Side Baptist Church in Harmony, N.C. In his retirement, Hayward and Gloria traveled across country twice in their RV to Alaska; spent their winters in Frostproof, Florida; and passed his love of fishing to his grandson.
He is survived by his wife of what would have been 60 years on September 29, 2020, Gloria Fay Hill Thomas; a daughter, Lisa Dawn Thomas and son in-law Raif Todd of Mooresville, N.C.; grandson, Cole Todd, and granddaughter, Chloe Todd, of Mooresville; two brothers, John Thomas of Sissonville, W.Va., and Emery Thomas of Evans, W.Va.
We would like to thank the caregivers of Hospice and Palliative Care of Iredell County who made Hayward’s last days comfortable and peaceful.
A celebration of life services will be held for family in Sissonville, W.Va. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Iredell County 2437 Simonton Road. Statesville, NC 28625, www.hoic.org
Online condolences may be made to www.troutmanfuneralhome.com.
Troutman Funeral Home is serving the family.