Eddie Wayne Thomas Jr., 37, of Hardy died Dec. 24, 2002, in Egypt, Ark., in an airplane crash.
Born Nov. 28, 1965, in Brownsville, Tenn., he was the son of Eddie Wayne Thomas Sr. and Roanne Waggener Thomas. He moved to Cherokee Village in March of 1968.
Thomas graduated from Highland High School in 1984. He went on to Ouachita Baptist University and graduated in 1988 with a degree in business administration.
He married Renee Clay May 4, 1991. He worked many years as a supervisor for Town & Country and Price Chopper Food stores.
Thomas was a first lieutenant in the United States Army, serving in Korea for two years. He had many accomplishments over the years. He obtained his private pilot license, instrumental single engine license, instrumental dual engine license, commercial engine single license and commercial engine dual license; he logged 1,500 hours of flight time in the last two years, and he was the 1999, 2000 and 2002 state of Arkansas INT Water Ski Champion.
He also had many interests which included flying, water skiing, tennis, motorcycle riding, snow skiing, golf and weight lifting. He also belonged to the Arkansas State University Indian Air Force. He attended First United Methodist Church in Hardy. He was a pilot and president of Thomas Aviation.
Survivors include his wife, Renee Clay Thomas; two daughters -- Amy Renee, 7, and Laura Kathryn "Katie" 2; his father, Eddie Wayne Thomas Sr. of Hardy; his mother and stepfather, Roanne and Sale Burton of Brownsville, Tenn.; a brother, Wilson Thomas of Dothan, Ala.; a sister and brother-in-law, Lynnette and Brent Gourley of Little Rock; and his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Robert and Kathleen Clay of Hardy.
The funeral was Dec. 29 at First Baptist Church in Hardy. Burial followed in Walker Cemetery with the Rev. Tom Rhodes officiating. Scott Street gave the eulogy. Other speakers were Bruce Dietsche, Brent Gourley and Kent Weiand, with Dr. George Jackson offering a prayer.
Pallbearers were Tommy Duncan, Kerry Evans, Eric Harris, Jim Hussung, Tim Johnson, Ron Jones, Drake Ledbetter, Mike Pearson, Elwin Sharp, Adam Sharp, Scott Sharp, David Stone, Greg Strobbe, Kent Weiand and Rodney Williams.
Arrangements were under the direction of Tri-County's Cherokee Chapel of Highland.
In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to the Eddie Wayne Thomas Jr. Memorial Athletic Scholarship Fund at Union Planters Bank, P.O. Box 28, Hardy, AR 72542, ATTN: Mechele.