Bobby James Thomas passed away peacefully on June 5, 2022 with his wife at his side. He was 87 years old and is survived by his high school sweetheart and wife of 68 years, Elizabeth, their three sons, several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Bob and Liz moved to Santa Cruz in 1966. An entrepreneur at heart, he sought to create his own business legacy. First, with the purchase of Grady’s Market in Capitola, later a restaurant, a few house flips and a small army/navy surplus store. While juggling all of these businesses, he also found great success as the store manager for the Santa Cruz downtown Long’s Drugs store. His tenacity and business acumen would lead him all the way to a position of South Bay Area District Manager and Vice President position at Long’s Drugs. However, even with excellent pay and status at Long’s Drugs, he quit in order to follow his dream of building his own family business.
What started out as just a small local surplus store would turn into an over 50 year award winning Santa Cruz legacy known as Outdoor World Sporting Goods. Bob turned his love of fishing, hunting, and camping and cross country RV trips to National Parks, lakes and rivers into a successful multi store local business that equipped families of the Central Coast with all that they needed for their outdoor adventures.
As a local small business owner, Bob was very supportive of the Santa Cruz community. He was active in several local Rotary Clubs, participated in local politics working tirelessly for our local seniors, and served as a pastor of a local church for many years. No services are planned.
To plant a beautiful memorial tree in memory of Bobby Thomas, please visit our Tree Store
A Memorial Tree was planted for Bobby
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Santa Cruz Mission Chapel