On Tuesday, April 27, 2021 Joseph Henry Lee Thomas, 85, transitioned peacefully into his next life at the University of Maryland Shore Medical Center of Dorchester with some of his family by his side. Joseph Henry Lee Thomas was born November 26, 1935 in Trappe, MD to the late Naomi Freeman Thomas and William McKee Thomas. He was the first born of 10 children and fondly known as Joe.
Joe graduated from Robert Russa Moton High School in Easton, Maryland with the class of 1954. Joe went on to work side by side with his father in the family business, Thomas Junk Yard, known today as Thomas Salvage Yard. Joe was the lead mechanic in the family business. He was a self-taught mechanic and many would seek his expertise. If you came to the junk yard in search of Joe, you could always find him by just listening for his “song of content.” With Joe on board the business branched out in local/long-distance hauling and later trash removal within and outside the town of Trappe, and the town of Oxford.
Joe accepted Christ at an early age and was a faithful member of Scotts United Methodist Church of Trappe, MD. Joe was once an Usher and often traveled to the Annual Usher Days throughout the Eastern Shore. He supported the church in many ways and he would often solicit support on behalf of the church. Joe supported the local fire departments by providing them with junk vehicles for training.
Joe was the true testimony that “GOD is not done with me yet.” On January 20, 2011, Joe was using a torch and the sparks got on the fragments of his overalls and his overalls ignited into flames, burning over 40 percent of his body. By the Grace of GOD and only by the grace of GOD, Joe lived ten more years and was able to testify to others about his miracle.
Joe loved cars, but he loved food even more. He loved to eat and has enjoyed a meal at many homes. Desserts were among his favorites, he loved lemon meringue pie the most. Over the year’s families from the Trappe and Oxford areas would bring him a dish directly to the junk yard. When Joe was able to, he would visit homes in the Trappe area early on New Year’s day to wish the families a Happy New Year and to bring blessings to their household as the first male to cross the threshold of their doorways.
Joseph was preceded in death by his mother, Naomi Freeman Thomas and father, William McKee Thomas, one brother, James E. Thomas, and paternal grandmother Maidie V. Thomas and maternal grandparents , Percy and Fannie Brown.
Joseph was once married to Jacqueline Chase and from this union they were blessed with one son, Everett Aaron Thomas. Joseph leaves to cherish his memories his son, Everett Thomas (Bobette} of Reading, Pennsylvania, grandson Akil Thomas of Raleigh, North Carolina, granddaughter Nina A. Stewart-Thomas of Reading, Pennsylvania, siblings William C. Thomas (Virginia) of Raleigh, North Carolina, John A. Thomas, Kennard R. Thomas, Maidie L. Ross, Naomi Diane Thomas, Mildred L. Thomas and Virginia T. Hayman all of Trappe, Maryland, one aunt, Helen Edwards of Durham, North Carolina, a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and many, many friends.