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Mr. Davis Eugene Thomas, Sr. "Gene", of Florence, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Monday morning September 24th, 2018. He was 86 years old.
He is survived by his wife of 44 years, Barbara Arnold Thomas; daughter, Donna Thomas; step-daughter, Lane Holt (Tony); grandchildren, Brianna Parker and Allen Holt; and children from previous marriage to Mary Anne Whitten Kicker, Dave Thomas (Leann), Laura Sandy (Keith), Dudley Thomas (Jane); grandchildren, Caleb Thomas, Grayson Sandy, Evan Sandy, Seth Thomas, and Carlisle Sandy. He is also survived by his mother-in-law, Vernette Arnold; sisters-in-law, Bettye Thomas, Joann Thomas, Jackie Thomas, Linda Arnold; brother-in-law, John Arnold; several nieces and nephews; and special friends, Diane Haddock and Chuck Vaughn.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Anne Whitten Kicker; parents, Robert Malcolm and Ruby G. Thomas; brothers, Robert Thomas, Jim Thomas, Bill Thomas, Harry Thomas; and sister, June Bryant.
Gene was in the grocery business for many years in the Central community of Lauderdale County and was known and loved by the many friends who frequented his business over the years. He loved nothing more than going to open up the store very early each morning and starting the day with the morning newspaper and a cup of coffee while solving the world's problems with his buddies. Gene was well-liked by everyone he met in recent years, his quick smile and sense of humor were always present. Gene was dearly loved by his family.
Gene was a passionate sports fan, particularly Alabama football going back to the days before Coach Bryant. He also closely followed their basketball team. Many will remember Gene from his contribution to Coffee High School basketball as a member of the 1951 State Championship and 1952 State Runners Up teams under Coach Hayden Riley. Gene was selected for the All-State Team after the 1952 tournament. He received a basketball scholarship to Florence State (University of North Alabama). Even though Gene focused on basketball, his favorite sport was football. He often reminisced about his high school days and his favorite teacher "Mrs. Mac.”
Gene has kept in touch over the years with his old friend Wimp Sanderson who made a special point to check in on Gene whenever he was in town.
Gene was a member of Oakland Church of Christ.
Visitation is from 11 to 1 Wednesday, September 26th, at Greenview Funeral Home with a graveside service following visitation. Pallbearers will be family & friends.