Ralph Lynn Thomas was born March 13th, 1951 in Bristol, VA to Fred and Myrtle Thomas. He grew up in both Newport and Harriman, TN. As a 1970 graduate of Harriman High School, Ralph was a three-sport athlete and was one of the first black students on the Harriman High School football team. He started college career at Tennessee Tech with a football scholarship. Ralph had a great love for his family, St. Louis Cardinals baseball and UT Volunteers. Ralph was a passionate coach and mentor to many young children who played sports. If you truly knew Ralph, you knew he was a very outgoing individual with a warm spirit, who never met a stranger.
He also was a real-life HERO. Ralph and his younger brother saved the lives of a family living next door to the Thomas family home. Both Thomas men ran inside the burning house and pulled the family out to safety.
Ralph is precedent in death by parents Fred and Myrtle, brother Estil Dockery, sister Virginia Joyce, and niece Tasia Monique.
He leaves to cherish his memory his daughter, Michelle Thomas of Murfreesboro, TN. His two sons, Kurtis Thomas (Shanelle) of Murrieta, CA, and Shawn Thomas (Tawnee) of Bellflower, CA. Bonus children Tanya and Erik. Brothers, Freddie Thomas, Gil Thomas (Addie), Tyrone Thomas (Seressa), Stan Thomas and Randall Thomas. He also leaves his two sisters, Colleen Little and Hylanda Thomas. Ralph’s greatest joys were his grandchildren, Calvin, Kurelle, Jorie, Pretti and Karter. Bonus grandchildren, Ruben, Jeremy, Danny and Kailyn. A bonus great-grand child, Jayden. And his life-long best friend/brother, Jimmy Roberts.
“Goodbyes are not forever. Goodbyes are not THE END. They simply mean I’ll miss you until we meet again”