Official Obituary of

Stanley "Leroy" Thomas

May 25, 1934 ~ March 24, 2024 (age 89) 89 Years Old

Stanley "Leroy" Thomas Obituary

A memorial service for Leroy Thomas, 89, of Portales will be held at 10:00 AM, Fri., Mar. 29, 2024 at the Central Christian Church in Portales with Pastor Don Thomas officiating.  Private family burial will occur in the Causey Cemetery.  Those desiring to make memorial contributions may send them to the New Mexico Christian Children’s Home, 1356 NM 236, Portales, NM 88130.

Stanley Leroy Thomas known to virtually everyone as Leroy, was born May 25, 1934 in Quanah, TX to the home of Routh Pearl (Akers) and R. T Thomas, and passed peacefully into the arms of Jesus at his home on the morning of Sun., Mar. 24, 2024 at the age of 89 years, 9 months and 28 days.  Besides being known in the community as “Leroy,” he was affectionately known as “Ponga” to all his grandkids and great-grandkids and all their friends!  His and his wife’s cars carried the monikers of “Ponga” and “Monga” on their license plates.

Leroy grew up in Amarillo, TX where he graduated from Amarillo High School in 1951.  While in high school, he participated in the VICA (Vocational Industrial Clubs of America) and in addition, worked after school at his uncle’s service station.  On August 2, 1951, he was married to Gladys “Gaynelle” Mills.  For the first four year of their marriage, Leroy worked for the US Postal Service. In addition, he sold Fuller Brush products, and he often filled the pulpit for several rural churches in the area.  In 1957, he accepted the position of full-time minister at the Attica Church of Christ in Attica, KS.

In 1960, the family moved to Portales, where he continued to support the family by selling Fuller Brush products.  In 1963, he accepted a position as the Public Relations representative for the New Mexico Christian Children’s Home, traveling to supporting congregations, gather support and groceries for the home.  At the Children’s Home, he also often operated the printing press.  Consequently, it was a perfect fit when Fred Plexico approached him about purchasing his printing business.  So, on July 1, 1970, he and his wife became the owners of The Print Shop which was at that time located on N. Ave. A.  On Mar. 10, 1978, there was a massive fire in the downtown district which destroyed the Print Shop along with several other local businesses.  As a result, Leroy relocated the business to its current location on E. Third St.

Leroy became a member of the Portales Rotary Club in 1972, and eventually served as its president in the early 1980’s.  In addition, several years later he served as the Assistant to the District Governor of Rotary Dist. 552.  On more than one occasion, Leroy was honored by his club with the Paul Harris Foundation Award.  He had 50 years of perfect attendance in Rotary.

Leroy was a fan of football in general, but was especially loyal to the Dallas Cowboys.  Through the years he had amassed a large collection of banks in the shape of cars of various types.  From 1970 until the church dissolved in 2018, for a total of 48 years, Leroy served as minister to the Causey Church of Christ.

He is survived by Gaynelle, his wife of more than 72 years of their home; his two sons and daughters-in-law, Stan and Lorna Thomas of Newbury Park, CA and Don and Suzanne Thomas of Portales; his two daughters and sons-in-law, Cozetta and Thom Moore of Portales and Alowetta and Marc Terrien of Grand Junction, CO; 14 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren with another expected shortly; three sisters, Maxine Spiker of Amarillo, Karen Smitherman of Lubbock, and Janet Pancake of Amarillo.  He was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers, Donald and Howard Thomas, two sisters, Pearl Jordan and Margaret Thomas who died as an infant and a granddaughter, Chealen Ross.

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Memorial Service
March 29, 2024

10:00 AM
Central Christian Church (Portales)
1528 S Main Ave
Portales, NM 88130

Video is available for this event


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