Paul Wayne Thomas (1943-2017)

Paul Thomas became a member of the Mt. Juliet church of Christ in the 1960’s. He and his family moved from Lebanon to Mt. Juliet in the fall of 1960. He attended Mt. Juliet High School for his junior and senior years. He was very well-liked by his classmates. He was voted “Friendliest” and “Best School Spirit” by his classmates.

Paul married a former classmate, Carol Harris, after serving four years in the United States Marine Corp. They were married in 1966. Carol taught at Mt. Juliet High School while Paul earned his bachelor’s degree in biology at Middle Tennessee State University. Later on he would also earn a master’s degree in education at the same university.

He began his teaching career at Mt. Juliet High School in 1970. But, most of his career in education was in administration. He served for many years as principal of the old Mt. Juliet elementary school. In the summer of 1976, he ran for the County Superintendent. It was a close race but he was not elected. He spent over thirty years in educating young boys and girls under his leadership.

In October of 1972, Carol and Paul were blessed with the birth of a daughter, Tara Kay Thomas. But early on it was discovered that she had hydrocephalus. The young couple was told to put their child in a home, but they refused to do this. Paul and Carol gave Tara Kay excellent care and love for the next seventeen years. They saw to her every need. Carol gave up her teaching career to take care of their daughter. Tara Kay died in 1989.

Carol and Paul had another child, Bryan Paul Thomas, born on October 23, 1973. This young man has been such a blessing to his family. He has remained in their home seeing to his family needs.

Paul and Carol were very active in the church at Mt. Juliet. Paul taught an adult class for many years. He served as a deacon over the first benevolent program. Carol was known for the delicious pies she made for shut-ins.

In December 2001, Carol had surgery to remove a brain tumor. She never recovered from this surgery. She spent the last eleven years of her life in health care facilities. She passed away in 2012.

In many ways, Paul was a modern day Job. He did not have an easy life. He went through many trials most of us have never faced. He was not in good health the last few years. He passed away at home on April 11, 2017. He was laid to rest beside his wife, Carol, and daughter, Tara Kay, in the Mt. Juliet Cemetery. We will miss him.
Pat Hackney