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Founding TASA Member “Mr. EMS” Passes

Robert E. “Bob” Thomas

  • BORN: July 30, 1927
  • DIED: September 3, 2015
  • LOCATION: Columbia, Tennessee

Robert Eugene “Bob” Thomas, 88, retired director of Maury County Ambulance Service and resident of Denham Avenue, died Thursday, September 3, 3025 at Signature Health Care.
A memorial service will be conducted Monday at 11:00 a.m. at Oakes & Nichols with The Reverend Thomas Wilson and Chris Bowhay officiating. Burial will follow in Rose Hill Cemetery with military honors provided by Herbert Griffin American Legion Post #19. Memorials may be made to the Bob Thomas Memorial Fund at Heritage Bank, 217 South James Campbell Boulevard, Columbia, TN 38401. The family will visit with friends Friday from 4:00 to 9:00 p.m. at Oakes & Nichols.
Notes of sympathy may be extended at
Born and reared in Maury County, he was a descendant of pioneer settler Benjamin Thomas and son of the late Robert Luther Thomas and Eugenia Jackson Thomas. He was a 1945 graduate of Columbia Central High School and served in the U. S. Air Force during the Korean War.
As a young man he worked for a number of years at Williams Funeral Home and later at FrakesElectric Company for several years.
When the funeral homes in Maury County determined that they no longer could provide proper ambulance service, an Ambulance Committee was established by the Maury County Commission and wisely chose Mr. Thomas as the organizer and first director in 1967. Their wisdom was proven over the more than 25 years he served as director until his retirement in 1992. Known as “Mr. EMS” he was a charter member of the Tennessee Ambulance Service Association and served as its first president and executive secretary from 1975 to 1991.
He was a long-time communicant of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church and Herbert Griffin American Legion Post #19.
He married the former Patricia Ingram May 22, 1959. Their 55 year marriage ended with her death March 6, 2015.
Survivors include his daughter, Elizabeth Jackson “Beth”Thomas and Robert Michael “Mike” Thomas, both of Columbia and several cousins. He was preceded in death by a sister, Jean Jackson Thomas June 3, 2015.
Active pallbearers are Douglas Anderson, Garry McPeak, Douglas Vinyard, Steve Vinyard, Enoch George, Freddie Rich, William T. “Butch” Ellis, and Harold Woosley. Honorary pallbearers include staff of Signature Health Care.

Funeral & Procession Details:
Visitation will be Friday, September 4, 2015, from 4:00 pm until 9:00 at Oakes and Nichols Funeral Home.

Monday, September 7, There will be a memorial service at Oakes and Nichols at 11:00 am. At the conclusion of the memorial service, his burial will follow in Rose Hill Cemetery. At Bob’s request, I would like to like to put together a procession to honor him with as many Emergency Vehicles as available and possible . We would leave the funeral home at approximately 11:50 am and it would be about a 15 to 20 minute procession to the grave yard.

We will assemble all the Emergency Vehicles in the parking lot across the street at the corner of West 7th street and Athenaeum, in the open church parking lot. If more space is needed, we will use the parking lot in front of the post office which is next to it.  (attached map)

If you are attending the service, you make park there and walk across. If you are just coming for the procession, please arrive by 11:00am and you may stay with your vehicle.