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William E. Thomas Jr., 81

by | May 20, 2024 | Obituaries

William Thomas

William Thomas

William “Bill” Thomas of Fort Myers, Florida, formerly of Hopkinton, passed away surrounded by the love of his entire family both near and far at Joanne’s House, a hospice home in Bonita Springs, Florida, at the age of 81.

Bill, born on June 21, 1942, was the son of the late Gladys (Berry) Thomas and William Thomas Sr. and the brother of Patricia Jones, currently of Sturbridge. He also leaves behind the love of his entire life, his wife Betty (Irvine) Thomas of Fort Myers, Florida. Married for nearly 63 years, they were inseparable.

Bill grew up at 86 Main Street in Hopkinton. He often reminisced and fondly talked about his childhood in Hopkinton, where he spent time doing his paper route, going to dances with his love Betty, and having fun with friends and family. Bill went to Hopkinton High School and loved being part of the HHS Drama Club and often was the lead in the productions. He also loved playing football for coach Ed Hayes, who remarked, “I never had to worry about Bill Thomas, who always did his job.” Upon graduation in 1960, Bill decided to join the U.S. Coast Guard, just like his father before him.

Soon after graduation, while just starting in the service, his childhood sweetheart could not wait any longer. Billy and Betty were married on Aug. 27, 1961. They first lived in Rockland, Maine, where Bill was stationed, and then Nantucket for the remainder of his time in the Coast Guard. Bill was a proud Coast Guard veteran who put on his Coast Guard hat every single day to proudly hang his flag outside his home in Fort Myers.

A dedicated family man, Bill and Betty began their family in February 1963 with the birth of their daughter Nancy Lorraine, affectionately dubbed “Charlie” by her father. Brian Edward “Sam” followed soon, in May 1965. Their core family became complete with the birth of their youngest child, Karin LeAnne, in May of 1971; Bill had run out of nickname ideas by the time Karin was born!

After his time in the Coast Guard, Bill continued to follow his father’s lead by becoming an electrician. He helped run and operate his family business, Electime, where he fixed clocks all while raising his family. Bill’s incredible work ethic and devotion to his family spurred him on to work numerous jobs to make life easier for his family. He loved his time bartending at Carbone’s while his wife waitressed. Bill also went on to work at General Motors in Framingham as an electrician and foreman. Once GM closed, he moved to Virginia and became a fire alarm specialist at the CIA building in McLean, Virginia.

Above all else, Bill was devoted to his family. His number one priority throughout his life was his undying love and devotion to his wife, Betty, his children and grandchildren. His second love would be for his friends and honestly strangers alike, because once you met Bill he was your friend. He loved jokes both clean and not so clean! He loved to make people laugh, and even as his memory failed him, he could still drop zingers, especially towards his love, Betty.

Finally, Bill had a love affair with food! He especially loved the delicious food Betty always made for him, but Bill could and would eat anything you gave him, never complain and tell you it was delicious even if it was a PB&J (on white bread, of course)!

Besides his wife, Betty, Bill/Dad leaves behind his adoring sister-in-laws, Susie Midgette and Patti Boelsen, his loving children, Nancy Clark and husband Brian of Park City, Utah, Brian Thomas and wife Pam of Sutton, and Karin DePaolo and husband Stephen of Franklin. “Grampie” also leaves behind his grandchildren, Tommy and wife Katie, Tom and wife Joey, Katie and husband Bill, Rebecca and fiancé Paul, Nicole, Ryan and Ethan. “Grampie” loved babies and leaves behind his first great-grandchild, Max, as well as two more baby girls soon to arrive. As a direct result of his kind nature and tremendous humor, he also leaves behind many more adoring friends and family.

A private memorial is being planned for a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Bill’s name to Joanne’s House, 27200 Imperial Parkway, Bonita Springs, FL 34135 or St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

Obituaries are submissions, typically from funeral homes, that are not subject to the same level of editorial oversight as the rest of the Hopkinton Independent. Obituaries may be edited for grammatical and factual mistakes and clarifications and shortened for space considerations.


  1. Judy Boudreau-Hardy

    Dear Betty Lou,

    Extending my sorry over your loss. Bill was a great gut and you to were truly PARTNERS. As a classmate fondly remember both of you and the good old day’s at HHS.

  2. Judy Boudreau-Hardy

    Dear Betty Lou and Family

    Extending my deep sympathy on your great loss. ill will be forever remembered by those of us that were in class with him. Our day’s at HHS were fondly reminders f what great times we all had. Football Star, Drama. and the two of you together. He will like ALL classmates will be remembered fondly. I will remember Bill for our first date, a dance t the town hall. He gave me a lovely nose-gay of violets,


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