Walter Thomas
Walter Thomas

Obituary of Walter Lee Thomas

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Our beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather (GGP) passed away peacefully on December 15, 2023. Born in Santa Fe, New Mexico to Henry (Hank) and Edna Thomas, Walt grew up in Grants Pass Oregon and later moved to Washington State where he attended Auburn Academy and Walla Walla College. In Seattle he was employed by The Seattle Door Company and Sawmill where he was a supervisor. In 1965 Walt and family moved to Santa Cruz where he and partner Bill Casper started Harbor Marine at the brand-new Small Craft Harbor. The business was sold in 1978 but he stayed on until 1981as yard manager. After leaving Harbor Marine, Walt and partner Curtis Opp began a new venture 'Opp Thomas Boat Works' operating out of a barn he built on his property on Freedom Blvd. After Curtis left the area Walt started 'Walts Boat Works' until he retired. Walt was the consummate craftsman. His carpentry, boat building and fiberglassing skills were second to none. Walt was highly regarded and in demand with the central coast boating community. A perfectionist, yes. Still, he enjoyed sharing his knowledge and taught a boatbuilding class at Cabrillo College. All who knew Walt were in awe of his work ethic. For example, even when doing projects for family Walt would always pack a lunch in his lunch pail and keep the break to about twenty minutes. For many years beginning in 1981, Walt would spend summers in Naknek Alaska employed by Peter Pan Seafood Company as a Shipwright where he worked on boats in dry dock and maintenance around the facility. He thoroughly enjoyed these summers in Naknek (as did Lois) and formed many bonds with local coworkers. He was especially fond of Josie, John and Jerry the cook. Walt always returned from Alaska 10 lbs. heavier. His family always looked forward to the stories and trinkets he returned with. One of his favorite stories was of an Alaskan Raven he taught a few words to and how to eat out of his hand. Moving to Freedom Blvd. in 1972 Walt and Lois completely remodeled the family home and later a 100-year-old Victorian on the property. Having a fondness for goats and chickens, Walt was able to raise both on the property. Walt loved toy guns and had an amazing collection. He was also a fixture at many of his grandchildren's sporting events and was never without his dog and faithful companion Bear. Walt was an amazing, gentle man, and an all-around "good guy''. He volunteered as a Pathfinder Leader for the Seventh Day Adventist Church at Mount Lake Terrace in Washington and VHM Academy in Santa Cruz. Family for Walt was paramount. Few will ever forget his kind and slightly mischievous smile. There is no doubt that in years to come, when faced with a construction obstacle, the question will be asked; "what would Walt do". Walt is survived by the love of his life Lois, his wife of 72 years, son Kim Thomas (Teri), Daughters Cindy Furtado (Jeff), Sandra Potter (Ron Moreno) and Beth Norton (Jonathan's mom), grandchildren Jonathan Thomas (Jessica), Renee Mills (Mitch), Stacie Thomas (Isiah), Rebecca Potter, Casey Furtado (Lauren) and Patrick Furtado and great grandchildren Lacie Mills, Dane Mills, Eve Remus, Evan Remus, Isiah Neel, Mason Furtado and Teagan Furtado. He was preceded in death by sons Gary (Aug. 15, 2018) and Robert (Feb. 3, 1959) A life well lived; you will be missed. We love you.
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Walter Thomas

In Loving Memory

Walter Thomas

1931 - 2023

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