Kemal Thomas - Cumberland

Kemal Thomas - Cumberland

Kemal Thomas, 94, of 3 Valley Stream Drive, Cumberland, entered the gates of heaven on March 10, 2014, at the Grandview Nursing Center.

He was predeceased by his parents, Samuel and Lillian Thomas; his sisters, Cora, Alice, Dorothy and Lillian; and his ex-wife, Lucy (Toste) Perry.

He is survived by his son, George and wife Bertha; brother, Edward; brother, Robert and wife Kay; nephew, David Toste and wife Elizabeth; nephew, Richard Hesselbarth and wife Pat; other nieces and nephews; and two grandsons.

Kemal was a Navy veteran who served in the World War II European conflict and upon discharge he worked 40 years for Blackstone Valley Electric Co., first as a boiler mechanic and then as a billing clerk.

He was an avid reader and golfer and loved to walk the malls or around the Monastery grounds. He was proud that he could still fit into his Navy uniform when he retired at 65.

Upon entry into the Navy, he scored the second highest grade on a Naval exam so his commander recommended him to the Office Candidate School in Newport, but Kemal surprised him when he stated he only an eighth grade education. He tried to become a torpedo man on a PT boat, but that did not work because he always got seasick. His final assignment was on a Navy baseball team, which entertained the troops when they were on leave.

After the war he had a tryout for the Chicago White Sox but did not make it. He was a kind, soft spoken man who loved being alone, but also liked to tell jokes and funny stories when he was with people that he knew.

He loved to watch golf on TV and he loved to play the game until his arthritis would not allow him to swing a golf club. “Uncle Kem” will be greatly missed.

Kemal will be laid to rest in a niche in the R.I. Veterans Cemetery at a later date when a niche becomes available. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Beacon Hospice, 1 Catamore Blvd. #1, East Providence, RI 02914.