Elgin Evans Thomas, passed away on Sunday, February 19, 2017, at his home in Cleveland, Oklahoma at the age of age 91 years old.
Elgin was born September 17, 1925, in Aline, Oklahoma. He was the son of William Lloyd and Blanche Mabel (Wilder) Thomas. As a young man, Elgin was raised and received his education in Aline where he later graduated from high school. Following high school, Elgin worked on the farms in Woods County. Elgin was united in marriage to Ima Jean Geist in September 1945. Following the death of Ima Jean, Elgin moved to Cleveland, Oklahoma in 1952. At that time he purchased the Texaco Station on the corner of Highway 64 and 99; it was open 24 hours, and he also operated a wrecker service. Elgin later began running a Dodge and Plymouth dealership in Cleveland. Elgin then became a partner in Cleveland Auto Store and Repair. He soon began working at the Kerr McGee Refinery before returning to Watonga, Oklahoma. During his time there Elgin was part owner of a furniture store. After eighteen months Elgin decided to come back to Cleveland and once again began working at the Kerr McGee Refinery. Elgin was united in marriage to Ruth Bohlman on August 21, 1966, in Tulsa, Oklahoma and the couple established their home in Cleveland. Elgin later developed the Oaks Mobile Home Park in Cleveland and was also responsible for building ten spec homes in the Oak Ridge Addition. He also developed the LECO Building and the industrial buildings south of Cleveland near Woodland Hills along Highway 64. On April 19, 2000, Elgin was united in marriage to Vonta Simpkins in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Elgin was what you would call a self made man.
Elgin was very active in the Cleveland Community. He served as President of the Cleveland Area Senior Center Board, Pawnee County Area Health Center Advisory, Advisory Board of COEDD, Woodland Cemetery Board, two years as Senator as a Silver Haired Legislature for Pawnee and Payne Counties. Elgin also served for many years on the Buck Knife Collectors Board and was one of the first members being #26 in the membership. Elgin served for ten years on the Cleveland City Council and two terms as Mayor of Cleveland as well as a 32nd Degree Mason. In 2008, Elgin was inducted into the Buck Knife Hall of Fame for his contribution to the organization. He traveled and exhibited his Buck Knives in Georgia and Ohio winning many prizes and for his displays.
Elgin has been a member of the Christian Church since the age of 12 and currently a member of First Christian Church in Cleveland. He is described as someone who loves life and always prepared to either tell or listen to an good joke. Elgin enjoyed being surrounded by a host of family and friends everyday. He never met a stranger and always looked for the good in his fellow man. He received enjoyment by helping others in need and lending a helping hand or words of encourgement.
Survivors are his wife Vonta of the home, son Douglas Thomas and his wife Huguette of Altus, Oklahoma, daughter Dian Hardin and husband Don of Stillwater, Oklahoma, granddaughter Tracy Stephenson and her husband Justin their children Cade, Ally, Carter and Cru of Woodward, Oklahoma, great grandchildren Cailie and Talie Owen and their father Travis Owen of Jenks, Oklahoma; step-son Mark Simpkins and his wife Tammy their son Boyer of Stillwater, Oklahoma, stepdaughter Deena Swart and her husband Charlie their children Jonathan, Jared and Sharlee of Jennings, Oklahoma; great grandchildren Keylee, Elisha, Sophie, Lily, step son Curtis, Keith and Lyle Bohlman, step daughter Cynthia Davis and her husband Larry of Langley, Oklahoma. In addition to his parents, Elgin was preceded in death by an infant brother, three brothers Virgil Emit, Louis Thomas, Wilder Thomas, two wives Ima Jean (Geist) Thomas, Ruth (Bohlman) Thomas and granddaughter Tara Owens.
Funeral services will be held 10:00 AM Thursday at the First Christian Church with Rev. Dale Gowdy and Gene Black speaking. Committal services will be 3:30 pm in the Watonga IOOF Cemetery in Watonga, Oklahoma with David Logsdon officiating. Friends may share a memory with the family online at www.chapman-black.com.