William Clifford Thomas III, age 84 of Douglas, Georgia passed away on Wednesday, February 17, 2021 at his residence. Mr. Thomas was born on January 16, 1937 in Bulloch County, Georgia the son of the late William Clifford Thomas, Jr. and Lois Carter Thomas.
Mr. Thomas attended Georgia Tech majoring in Mechanical Engineering but transferred to University of Georgia his senior year majoring in Agricultural Engineering, graduated in December 1959, and worked with John Deere Company. His love was working, selling, and being with farm equipment and farmers. He was also a veteran of the United States Army and was of the Baptist faith. Mr. Thomas retired from the State of Georgia Department of Agriculture.
The 61-year marriage of Cliff and Beverly Mallard began on February 7, 1960, and was based on love, trust, and honesty. Cliff was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather to three children, seven grands, and seven great-grands. His children were his pride and joy, and he loved them dearly. His grands and greats were also treasures, and he loved hearing about their activities by phone and in person. Cliff always asked any of the family, “Do I have anything that you need or that will help you?” He was a very generous, caring, and loving man. He was also a good son to care for his parents until their deaths. He was also preceded in death by a brother, John Carter Thomas.
Cliff was known for his life-long love of fishing. He had many, many good fishing buddies in many places, and they’ve stayed in touch via phone or visits. They always had great stories and big laughs. Cliff would laugh when told it was a shame he couldn’t have had a job like Hank Parker or one of them. He enjoyed his boats, fishing gear, and guns. Weekends were for fishing and hunting. He would take the children when they were 4-5 years old or younger, and they would nap in the floor of the boat. The last few years Cliff couldn’t get in and out of boats by himself, so JB, Dustin, and Brent would get him in and out like a baby or sack of potatoes.
Our children have been so helpful. Since the decline of Cliff’s mobility, JB would always come quickly with a smile whenever we called. Olivia, Angelia, JB, and Dustin were handy to look up information on phones or computers. He will be greatly missed but we have many happy memories.
As Cliff’s wife, I don’t think I will ever watch a cowboy or fishing program without thinking of him. He will be missed terribly, but I’m thankful he didn’t suffer. We were together every minute to help each other. I’ll always remember him saying, “Beverly, thank you for all you do for me” and, “I love you” so often. These are cherished memories. Sunday mornings we watched church services from 7:00 to 12:00. Each day during our morning coffee, we had daily devotionals from the Bible. Cliff told me and the girls several times, “I’m ready to go.” We had a blessed life.
Survivors include his wife, Beverly M. Thomas of Douglas, GA; two daughters, Olivia Durden (Russell) of Douglas, GA and Angelia Rucker (Brent) of Douglas, GA; son, Bill Thomas (Stephanie) of Riverview, FL; sister, Margie Hendley of Statesboro, GA; 7 grandchildren, J.B. Rucker of Douglas, GA, Dustin Rucker (Danyel) of Lake Park, FL, Brittany Wooten (Kelvin) of Denton, GA, Casey Clark (Will) of Douglas, GA, Rusty Durden (Melanie) of Blairsville, GA, Matthew Thomas, USCG of Cuba, Jack Thomas of Riverview, FL; 7 great grandchildren, Kalli Wooten, Kinsley Wooten, Madisyn Rucker, Maci Rucker, Walker Clark, Margot Durden, Reid Rucker; and several nieces and nephews.
The family will receive friends Saturday, February 20, 2021 from 10am until 11am at Sims Funeral Home.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00am on Saturday, February, 20, 2021 at Sims Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Walter James officiating. Interment will follow at 4:00pm at Eastside Cemetery, Statesboro, Georgia. Pallbearers will be J.B. Rucker, Dustin Rucker, Rusty Durden, Jack Thomas, Kelvin Wooten, David Lott and Jason Hendley.
Musical selection will be “Beulah Land” and “Anchor Holds” sung by Matt Rutland. Carolyn Wright will play prelude and postlude music. David Brinson will sing “Beulah Land” at the graveside.
Sims Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Due to COVID-19, Sims Funeral Home Inc. will require all guests and attendees to wear appropriate medical grade face-masks and maintain social distancing at all times while visiting our facility, and highly encouraged at our services outside of our facility. Masks are not provided.