Charles Vaden Thomas, 68, of Glen Allen, died on December 4, 2017 after a courageous 17-month battle with glioblastoma brain cancer. He was the only child of Edith Gilbert Thomas and Beverly Vaden Thomas of Mechanicsville. He is survived by his wife of 37 years, Harriet Shackelford Thomas, by beloved daughters, Kimberly Elizabeth Collins (Chris Collins) and Joy Seon DuVal (Thomas DuVal) and grandchildren Oshby Kaleb Collins and Lily Kim Duval as well as many cousins. Charlie graduated from Virginia Tech in Electrical Engineering in 1972. He later earned a Virginia Professional Engineering license. He worked for Dominion Virginia Power for 27 years, Motorola for 9 years, and served as a consulting engineer for 5 years at Comdex, a public safety communications firm headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. Charlie helped design and lead public safety projects across the country involving communications for local police and firemen as well as systems for corporations. These included working with Houston, Tampa, Kansas City, the Washington Metro System, Henrico County, and the nuclear power plants at Surry and North Anna. He was proud to receive on March 15, 1994, a US patent (Number 5,293,755) for an Air Conditioning Load Management Control System. The US Department of Commerce’s Patent and Trademark Office picked Charlie’s invention as one of 125 inventions nationwide to exhibit at the National Inventors Conference and Expo held September 15-16, 1995, at Epcot Center in Disney World. Kim and Joy were so happy Daddy won this honor as they got to meet Mickey and Minnie Mouse on the trip. Charlie enjoyed travelling to 47 states, Canada, Mexico, and 13 European countries. Charlie served as president of the Richmond Joint Engineers Council in 1991. He was president of the Richmond Area Bicycling Association (RABA) in 2013 and held other positions over the years. He worked with RABA’s Bikes for Kids program providing bikes to area Christmas Mother programs. Charlie worked with Groundwork RVA to supply bikes to students at Oak Grove-Bellemeade Elementary in the city of Richmond. He was an avid bicyclist for many years. Charlie was an active member of Trinity United Methodist Church on Forest Ave. in Henrico. He worked on many special projects for the Property Committee and the Creation Care Committee and worked on several mission opportunities. The family will receive friends from 6 to 8pm Wednesday, December 6 at Affinity Funeral Service at 2720 Enterprise Parkway, Richmond, VA 23294. A graveside service will be held at 11am Thursday, December 7 at Blanford Cemetery, 319 S. Crater Rd., Petersburg, VA. A Celebration of Life will follow at 1pm at Trinity United Methodist Church, 903 Forest Ave, Henrico, VA. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Trinity United Methodist Church (Missions); or Groundwork RVA, 409 E. Main St. Suite 200, Richmond VA 23219.
Affinity Funeral Service
Wednesday December 6th, 2017
6:00pm - 8:00pm
2720 Enterprise Pkwy
Richmond, VA 23294
Thursday December 7th, 2017
319 S Crater Rd
Petersburg, VA 23803
Celebration of Life
Trinity United Methodist Church
Thursday December 7th, 2017
903 Forest Ave
Henrico, VA 23229
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Charlie was a wonderful and kind man who loved his wife and daughters. Bob and I enjoyed working and worshipping with Charlie at CLC. Sorry we did not know of Charlie's passing to be able to attend his service. Love to Harriet, Kim and Joy.
Bob and Sandra Boclair
Submitted by Sandra Boclair on Dec 9 2017 08:57:31 PM
I knew Charlie through cycling. He was a gracious, funny, kind and humble person. He made everyone feel welcome. Harriet and kids, you had a wonderful husband and father who influenced a lot of people's lives. I pray for your comfort and share in your knowledge that he is in a better place now!
Submitted by Cathy Davenport on Dec 8 2017 08:04:35 AM
I'll always remember that, while a member at Christ Lutheran Church, Charlie was a hard worker, who gave 110% of himself. He was devoted to his family, an honorable and loving person. God's peace to Harriet, Kim and Joy and their families.
Submitted by Linda D. Keener on Dec 7 2017 11:03:28 PM
Charlie was a great neighbor these last 3 years. So helpful to me and to our little community here at Hunton Station. We loved his humor and his willingness to sit and talk. Charlie had an amazing life and was so ready to go be with our Lord and put this illness behind him and Harriett. We rejoice that there is no more pain and he is now with the Lord.
Submitted by Jim and Delores Bocrie on Dec 6 2017 09:43:45 PM
Charles and I have been more like brothers than cousins, sharing many good times together. I will miss him very much. It is hard to have to say good bye.
Submitted by Cousin Ted Robinson on Dec 5 2017 01:11:58 PM
May you find comfort in knowing that the true God cares for you at this most difficult time, 2 Corinthians 1:3,4. Please accept my sincere condolences
Submitted by C. Prince on Dec 5 2017 09:32:18 AM
Sure was sorry to see that Charlie passed away. He was a great guy and I know he will be missed by his family and friends. May God be with his family and friends at this difficult time.
Submitted by Margaret Norfleet on Dec 5 2017 08:13:02 AM
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