Joseph Grant Thomas, Sr., 67, died on May 5, 2016 in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Born in Monroe, LA Joe spent most of his life in Louisville but retired to New Bern, NC to be near the water to fulfill his passion for boating. He loved everything about the sea and instilled a passion for the water in his three children. Joe was past Commodore of the Louisville Sailing Club and one of the first to have a rowing shell on the Ohio River.
Joe graduated from Sanford Naval Academy preparatory school and the University of Mississippi where he was a member of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. He served in the U.S. Army in the early 1970s before beginning his professional career as a sales representative for Pinaire Lithographing, Reynolds-Foley and Merrick Printing. One of his most notable achievements was a collaboration with Southern Living to launch their Oxmoor House book publishing division.
He is survived by his children Grant (Sally Netter) Thomas, Clay (Katie Lochrie) Thomas and Lee (Rob) Harring; grandchildren Catherine, Margaret, Maxwell and Robert; siblings Carl (Ellen) Thomas and Laura Thomas, brother in law Steve Andrews; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Charles Grant Thomas and Cornelia McHenry Thomas, his sister Anne Thomas Andrews and his beloved golden retriever Tucker.
A visitation to pay respects and share memories with Joe's family will be held from 3-5PM on Sunday June 5th at 4701 River Road in Louisville, KY 40222. Following the visitation, a private family memorial service will be held at the Louisville Sailing Club. Donations in memory of Joe can be directed to the Camp Sea Gull and Seafarer (Arapahoe, NC) scholarship fund.
"I was a classmate and fraternity brother of Joe's at Ole Miss. He was a one of a kind even way back then. I am saddened by his death. We called him "The Champion" and he was truly one in terms of being a friend and fellow man. Let Light Perpetual Shine on Him."