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Saturday, July 20, 2019
Union UCC Pastor Emeritus Thomas N. Thomas dies at home Union UCC Pastor Emeritus Thomas N. Thomas dies at home

Union UCC Pastor Emeritus Thomas N. Thomas dies at home

Thursday, May 23, 2019 by The Press in Obituaries

The Rev. Thomas N. Thomas, 70, of South Whitehall Township, died Friday, May 17, 2019, in his home following a 10-week fight against complications from three aggressive brain tumors.

He was the husband of Katherine E. Brearley.

Born Aug. 15, 1948 in Lancaster, he was the son of the late Frank R. and Doratha (Dick) Thomas.

Named pastor emeritus of Union United Church of Christ Neffs, he served there 30 years before retiring in 2014.

He was currently a member of Longswamp UCC, Mertztown where he taught Sunday School and sang with the choir.

TNT was an excellent athlete and attended the University of Virginia on a full football scholarship.

He maintained an interest in athletics his whole life and read the sports section of The Morning Call each morning to learn about local athletes.

He remembered the names and accomplishments of hundreds of local athletes.

TNT was a person of faith. As a child he attended the Lutheran Church of the Holy Trinity in Lancaster when the Rev. Wallace Fisher was pastor.

As a teenager, his pastor was the Rev. Bill Kinzer of St. Luke Lutheran Church, Richmond, Va.

These two pastors, and the professors of Andover Newton Theological Seminary, shaped TNT to become dedicated to pastoral ministry and social justice.

He served several UCC churches and sat on many boards and committees, and he served as a UCC missionary pastor to the United Church of Zambia for four years.

TNT loved gardening and nature. He took great pleasure in using his strength, endurance and ingenuity in the creation of a productive yard space. He enjoyed every aspect of the great outdoors.

TNT was an informed voter committed to the democratic process. He followed the voting record of all local politicians and kept himself informed on a wide range of political issues.

Most recently, he was a part of the Upper Lehigh Democrats and was an assistant precinct captain for South Whitehall.

He worked to energize others to be informed voters.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by sons Morgan Thomas and his wife, Brittany, of Macungie, Jeremiah Thomas of Uniontown, Matthew Thomas and his wife, Gina, of Philadelphia; grandchildren Tanner and Presley Thomas of Macungie; siblings Tanya Richter and her husband, Fred, of Annville, Tim Thomas and his wife, Edith, of Charlottesville, Va.; nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his son, Owen Thomas.

His memorial service will be 11 a.m. May 24 at Union UCC, 5550 Route 873, Neffs.

Family and friends may pay their respects 5-8 p.m. Thursday in Heintzelman Funeral Home, Inc., 4906 Route 309, Schnecksville and 9:30-10:50 a.m. Friday in Memorial Hall at the church.

Interment will follow the service at Union Church Cemetery.

Expressions of sympathy may be made at heitnzelmancares.com.

Please omit flowers. Donations may be made in his memory to The Phoebe Home, c/o the funeral home, P.O. Box 196, Schnecksville, PA 18078-0196.

The family appreciates the excellent care Phoebe Home staff gave to the Rev. Thomas.

He received many cards during his short illness, so please give online condolences only.

On June 1, there will be a work day to clean up his beautiful 1-acre yard.

Details will be on Facebook or by contacting the family.