Fred Kent Thomas, of Laurel, MD, and formerly of Middlesboro, KY, passed away on September 4, 2021, in Laurel, MD. Fred was born on September 16, 1934, in Pruden, Tennessee, to Alonzo and Mary Jane (Haun) Thomas. He graduated from Jellico High School in Jellico, TN before enlisting in the U.S. Army where he realized his life calling. He married his love, Betty Lou (Gibson) Thomas, with whom he had three children. He was of the Christian faith.
Fred was a proud veteran of the U.S. Army. He had an impressive 50-year career in the U.S. Army and Civil Service that spanned across several conflicts including Vietnam, Kosovo Forces Operation (KFOR), in Kosovo, Operation Desert Storm in Saudi Arabia, and Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq/Kuwait. He was awarded the Bronze Star for his meritorious service in Vietnam. Fred felt most at home when he was with his troops and supporting his community. He was known for bartending, coaching/umpiring for dependents and military units, and being a beacon of light for the combat units he supported throughout the duration of his career.
Fred is survived by his beloved wife, Betty; his three children, Jerry (Julie) Thomas, Janet Thomas (Patrick) Sebring, and Fred Kenneth (Lizbeth) Thomas; his four grandchildren, Katelyn, Jadon, Jordan, and Fred Jr.; his brother, Willard "Ray" Thomas; brothers-in-law Joe Gibson, Don (Lana) Gibson, James (Patricia) Gibson, David (Phyllis) Gibson, sister-in-law Cora Cass; a great host of nieces, nephews, and their children. In addition to his parents, Fred was preceded in death by three brothers: William E., Herman S., and H. Lowell Thomas; brothers-in-law Calvin Gibson, Dewey Gibson, Michael Gibson, and sisters-in-law Mary Sue (Gibson) Hatmaker, Lillian Alene (Sevier) Thomas, Muriel (Kizzia) Thomas, Geneva Marcella (Cissell) Thomas, and Connie Sue (Mann) Thomas.
Fred will be remembered as a kind, loving, and devoted husband to his wife for almost 63 years and a wonderful father to his three children, and an incredible grandfather to his four grandchildren. He will be missed dearly by all that knew and loved him.
Services will be held Friday, September 17th, 2021, from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM at Witzke Funeral Homes, Inc., 5555 Twin Knolls Road, Columbia, MD 21045. He will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.witzkefuneralhomes.com for the Thomas family.
Cawood Funeral Home is honored to share this obituary as a courtesy to the family of Fred Kent Thomas.