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Wednesday, June 22, 2022
10:00 - 11:00am (Eastern time)
Wednesday, June 22, 2022
11:00am - 12:30pm (Eastern time)
Harry Norman Thomas, Jr., affectionately known as “Daddy”, “Dad”, “Grandad”, “Pop”, “Norman”, but was best known as “Norm”, “Normie” to some and “Stormin’ Norman” to others. Norman was born on November 11, 1933, in Oberlin, Ohio and departed this earth on June 13, 2022, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Norm is predeceased by his parents, Harry Norman Thomas, Sr. and Anne Helm Thomas, brothers, Gary G. Thomas, Sr. and Kenneth H. Thomas, Sr., grandson, Eric S. Russell and his loving wife, Gloria E. Thomas.
Norm is survived by his children, Shari L. Lopez (Justo) of Harrisburg, Pa, Anthony N. Thomas (Maggie) and Daryl S. Thomas (Traci), both of North Carolina, as well as Julie Martin (Clive), Ronald Wynne (Audrey) and Steven Wynne, all of Cleveland, Ohio. He leaves behind 10 grandchildren, 9 great-grandchildren and a host of nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews, and cousins.
Norm grew up in Oberlin, OH for the first part of his youth, until later when moving with his family to Cleveland, OH. In his early years in Ohio, Norm joined the National Guard and served his country honorably from 1951 to 1954. Norm met and married his first wife Shirley J. Knothe (Spraglin) during that time, Norm and Shirley later moved to Carlisle, PA where they were blessed with three children, Shari, Tony, and Daryl. Norm worked at Bethlehem Steel in Steelton, PA for many years as he acquired his knowledge of steel production, something he truly loved.
After several years of marriage, Norm and Shirley would later divorce. Following the divorce, Norm was able to return to Cleveland, OH and reconnect with his high-school sweetheart, Gloria Wynne (Bell). The two would eventually marry and then raise three children together, Julie, Ronald, and Steven. Norm continued his career in the steel industry as a production supervisor for LTV Steel in Cleveland, from which he finally retired.
After the passing of Gloria, his beloved wife, in 2013, Norm returned to PA and spent the remainder of his days in Harrisburg residing with his daughter, Shari and son-in-law, Justo.
Norm was an avid photographer with an exceptional eye for natural settings and landscapes. His love for the art led him to create a darkroom in his basement where he developed many of his photographic works. Norm was also a dedicated jazz music lover. Norms taste ranged from early jazz artists like Nancy Wilson, to more modern artists such as Diana Krall. He spent numerous hours listening to music, while enjoying jigsaw puzzles and reading all things related to World War II.
Norm was very proud of his heritage, spending as much time as he could researching and reading about his Native American ancestry as well as the association with his family roots. He made sure that his children understood the importance of their heritage and how it influenced their lives.
Norm loved football, especially the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Cleveland Browns. Even though he lived his final years in PA, his dedication to the Buckeyes and Browns was unwavering and shared by his brother, Gary, known professionally for his sports-related artwork. He later embraced the WNBA out of a love for women’s basketball. He was a prolific reader of both fiction and non-fiction with interests including WW2, Native American stories, and spy thriller novels.
Perhaps, partly because of his experience in the steel industry, Norm thought, and gave the impression that, he was indestructible . . . like Superman. As the “Man of Steel”, it became difficult in his later years for him to deal with the reality of all his illnesses. The God-given “Superman gene” (as his internal and physical strength was affectionately referred to by his children), activated by prayer, kicked in several times when the severity of his medical conditions would have taken other mere mortals out.
If still alive today, Norm would tell you these simple words of wisdom, “Don’t smoke like I did for years”, “Work hard”, “Do the right thing”, “Go with the flow”, “Respect your elders and all others”, “Be faithful”, and “Open and read the Good Book once a day!”
Services will be held at Word of Grace Ministries, 3814 North Progress Avenue, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, by the Senior Pastor, Jonathan Calderon.
Interment will be held at the convenience of the family, at Hillcrest Cemetery in Ohio.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Eric Scott Russell Integrity Scholarship Fund at P.O. Box 18722, Cleveland Heights, OH 44118.