Edward J. Thomas Sr., beloved father, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle and friend, age 96, passed away peacefully in his sleep while resting at his home in Columbus, Ohio, August 2, 2021.
Born July 13, 1925 to Anthony Michael and Fifie Thomas in the family home in Glouster, Ohio.
Eddie was small but scrappy, and he made his mark on the Glouster HS football team over the objections of his mother. Following WWII, the family moved to Logan, Ohio, where he married the former Shera Lee Foreman in 1951, and became father to Edward “E.J.” Thomas Jr. and Cynthia Lee (Thomas) Smith. In 1961, Eddie and brother Fred built and opened Scenic Lanes in Logan, where he honed his bowling skills and turned professional shortly thereafter. Eddie traveled three nights each week to compete in both leagues and tournaments in Columbus, where for several years running, he held the high average for season play. In addition, he was a member of the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) and competed with the best of the day in tournament play makin ghte finals and competing on national television. In 1961, Eddie bowled on the local ABC television station, and over many months of Saturday evening elimination play, he emerged the overall winner and took home a new car for the family. In 1967, he moved the family to Grove City and took over Stardust Lanes where he grew the business and created an All-Star Invitational League for the central Ohio area. During the time, he invented a special bowler’s aid wrist device and created a stand-alone business called “Gripit” marketing bowling ball finger and thumb inserts that allowed for greater ball grip and control. Eddie retired from both the bowling center and then the pro-shop he operated at Fiesta Lanes in 1990. For all his efforts to promote the sport of bowling and increase its entertainment value – and for his many tournament wins across several decades including 11 sanctioned 300 games bowled into his 80’s – Eddie was inducted into the Ohio Bowlers Hall of Fame in 1976.
While an accomplished bowler and successful businessman, nothing meant more to Ed Thomas than his Family. He guarded this Thomas family and all who are in it. He loved deeply; he cared enormously. He was a fun grandfather beloved by his grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Ed Thomas is survived by his son, E.J. Thomas and his wife Randi Marie, his daughter, Cyndi (Thomas) Smith and husband Matthew. Surviving grandchildren are Eddie Thomas, III, Alicia Layne Thomas, Kayleigh (Smith) Thomas and husband Jordan, Kristen (Smith) Matthiesen and husband Tylan, and Rose Victoria Thomas. Surviving great-grandchildren are Blakely Joy and Brookes Andrew Matthiesen.
He was predeceased by his wife Shera Lee Thomas and brothers Fred and George.
Visitation will be held on Friday, August 6, 2021 from 1-2 PM at Roberts Funeral Home in Logan, Ohio, with interment thereafter in the family plot at Oak Grove Cemetery with a graveside service officiated by Fr. Stephen L. Krile. In lieu of flowers, please send contributions to Trimble County Schools, One Tomcat Drive, Glouster, Ohio 45732.
Our “Dad” lived his life in the spirit of Sinatra’s “My Way”. That he did, and he will be missed by family and friends.
Letters of condolence may be left at robertsfuneralhomelogan.com
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