James Millard Thomas
Maiden Name: n/a
James Millard Thomas of Talihina passed away December 18, 1991 at the Choctaw Indian Hospital. He was born September 9, 1900, northwest of Mead, Indian Territory. He was the son of Della (McIntosh) and A.J. (Jack) Thomas.
While serving the U.S. Army Air Corp., he married Ruby (McLaughlin) of Kierse, Oklahoma on September 20, 1920. They were married 62 years. She passed away at the Choctaw Indian Hospital at Talihina, Oklahoma in August 1982 and was buried at Silo, Oklahoma.
Mr. Thomas was an original enrollee of the Choctaw Nation, with the lucky enrollment number 711.
The old Thomas Chapel School near Mead, Oklahoma was where the beginning of Mr. Thomas’ education began. The old school was built on land donated from his father’s Indian allotted land. A number of years later Millard was working in the oil fields at Pampa, Texas and was converted. He was later ordained as a Baptist Minister at Leflore, Texas in 1932. In order to have a better education, he not only worked full-time but attended high school classes and graduated. Several years later he attended Southwestern Baptist Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.
The family later moved to Mead, Oklahoma in 1938-40 he served as pastor to carious churches while also serving as Bryan County Association Missionary. Due to an old eye injury and health he was advised by his doctor to have less eye strain. He accepted position as Director of Student Air Mechanical School at Weight-Patterson A.F.B. in Ohio. Shortly thereafter, WWII came along and he continued there when a new A.F. Base opened in Liberal, Kansas. He was transferred there as a superintendant. He also ministered and worked hard in any church he attended. Later near the end of the war, he transferred to the still new and small Tinker A.F.B., where he retired in 1962 for health reasons. He became deeply involved in writing Biblical research.
Millard and Ruby had three children, Randall Thomas of Oklahoma City, Gwendolyn Daniel of Talihina, and Bernice Fowler of Durant. They also had 6 living grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren and 2 great-great-grandchildren.
In august 1986, Mr. Thomas and Quinnie Lou Rigdon were married. She passed away only 4 months later. She had three children; one son, Cole Rigdon of Mesquite, Texas, Mac Rigdon of Albuquerque, New Mexico and Yvonne Downs of Durant and numerous grandchildren.
Mr. Thomas was preceded in death by one brother and two sisters. He has three sisters still living, Sudie Cates of Medford, Oregon, Myrtle North calf of Amarillo, Texas and Cleo Green of Mead, Oklahoma.
Funeral services were conducted Saturday, December 21, 1991 at the Silo Baptist Church with burial at the Silo Cemetery. The service was officiated by Dr. Marley of the Buffalo Valley Baptist Church. A very touching presentation was given by Councilman Randle Durant of Talihina, Oklahoma. He served as a representative of the Choctaw Nation for Chief Hollis Roberts, a personal friend of the Thomas Family.
Pallbearers were his grandsons, Ralph Norman of Cedar Hill, Texas, Jimmy Fowler of Grand Prairie, Texas, Randy Thomas of El Reno, Oklahoma, Max Burgess of Oklahoma City and one great-grandson,