SMITHFIELD – Claude Thomas, Jr., Lt. Commander, U.S Navy (ret.), 80, passed away on Saturday, January 31, 2015. He was born in Montgomery County, NC and was preceded in death by his parents Claude Thomas Sr. and Carrie Hunsucker Thomas. Claude lived in Cary and Apex, NC prior to moving to Chesapeake, VA in 1984 and Smithfield, VA in 1992. He enjoyed serving others through the Smithfield Ruritan Club, Masons, COPS and Scouting. Claude was an active member of Trinity UMC where he loved organizing Wednesday night meals, serving on committees and serenading the church with his beautiful bass voice. Claude graduated from Pfeiffer College where he met his wife of 57 years. They spent many years traveling across the country after his retirement from the Norfolk Naval Shipyard. Claude is survived by his wife, Bettye Rast Thomas; daughters, Carrie Bruce (Curtis), Susan Wallace (Mike) and son, Randy Thomas (Becky). He was the proud “Grandpa” of David, Derek, Noah, Zachary, and Virginia. He is also survived by his sister, Hazel Perry; and a host of friends and extended family. A service and reception celebrating Claude’s life will be held at 11:00 a.m., Friday, February 6, 2015 at Trinity UMC. A private burial will take place at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to the Trinity UMC Music Dept., 203 Cedar Street, Smithfield, VA 23430. Arrangements are in the care of Colonial Funeral Home, Smithfield, VA. Family and friends are encouraged to share condolences and memories at
Published in Daily Press on Feb. 4, 2015

Claude Thomas, Jr