John Thomas, “Tom”, of Red ‘Arc Farm, Northwest Lamar County, died Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012. He was 78 years of age.
He was born in Marked Tree, Ark. but spent most of his life as a Texan. He was a graduate of Weatherford High school (1951), Texas Wesleyan College (1955), Perkins School of Theology at SMU (1958) and University of Edinburgh (1959). Tom received an honorary Doctor of Divinity from Southwestern University in Georgetown in 1979. He was the father of Lauren Shaw of Plano and Mark Graves and daughter-in-law Michelle Graves of Plano.
He is also survived by his three grandchildren, Preston, Collin and Melinda Shaw, of Plano; his brother-in-law, Dick Crawford and wife Eleanor, of Paris; his nieces, Julia Trigg Crawford and Allison Crawford of Direct, Texas; and a nephew, Paul Crawford, of Davis, Cali. He was preceded in death by his wife of 44 years, Linda Crawford Graves, and by his parents, Guy Crawson Graves and Louise Jester Graves.
Tom served the North and Central Texas Conferences of the United Methodist Church for more than 50 years as an ordained elder. He pastored several congregations and also served as a district superintendent of the Sherman McKinney District. He served on the executive committee of the Board of the Texas Methodist Foundation and was chairman of the Grants Committee. In 2010, he was the recipient of the “Medallion of Merit,” Texas Methodist Foundation’s highest award. During the last 10 years, Tom wrote a series of books reflecting on his life experiences in ministry.
A memorial celebration of his life will take place at Grace Avenue United Methodist Church, located at 3521 W. Main Street in Frisco, on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012 at 1 p.m. with Reverends Billy and Laura Echols-Richter officiating. Private interment will be in the family cemetery at Red ‘Arc Farm on Sept. 9, 2012. Arrangements are under the direction of Dannel Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be sent to the Grace Avenue United Methodist Church Building Fund specified for Tom Graves Hall or to the Thanks Giving Fund with Texas Methodist Foundation in Austin.
Dannel Funeral Home
302 South Walnut Street Sherman, TX 75090