Jay Thomas, 47, of Highland Home, passed away on Oct. 12, 2017 after a lengthy illness.
Jay was born in Luverne on June 22, 1970. He grew up in Highland Home until he was in the ninth grade and his family moved to the Greenville area. Jay graduated from Greenville High School in 1988. He went on to earn degrees from LBWCC, Troy University and Auburn University.
He was an award winning community newspaper journalist winning awards with the Alabama Press Association and the Georgia Press Association. Jay had more than 20 years of combined journalism experience. He began his newspaper career as a reporter at the Greenville Advocate in 1996 after graduating from Troy University with a journalism degree.
He has served as editor of publications in Greenville and Cordele, Ga., and was a reporter for The Evergreen Courant. Jay also served as city editor for The Montgomery Advertiser and as bureau chief for Neighbor Newspapers in metro Atlanta. He also served a brief stint as a professor at Miller-Motte Community College in Clarksville, Tenn.
His final position was as editor of The Opp News, where he served for six years.
Jay was known for his quick wit and sarcasm, as well as his kind heart. He could tell a quick joke or be a shoulder for guidance. He enjoyed making time to sit and talk to just about everyone he knew. There was never a shortage of interesting stories from Jay’s life. Some knew him affectionately as “Possum,” or “Jay Hawk”, or even “King Jay.”
He will be forever missed.
A memorial service to celebrate the life of Jay was held on Saturday, Oct. 21 at 2 p.m. at LifeChange Church with Brother Stewart Young and Brother Bill Lamkin officiating.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Sylvester and Judy Thomas, his paternal grandparents, Theo and Exa Thomas and maternal grandparents, Jesse and Faye Owens.
He is survived by his sisters, Jill (Trent) Brown, Jennifer (Darrell) Morris and Veronica Faye Owens, all of Highland Home; his brothers, James (Jennifer) Thomas, of Millbrook, and Shaun (Alana) Owens, of Highland Home; his nephews, Ethan Brown, Kendrick Thomas, Alex Brown, Will Morris, Sam Morris, Kirkland Thomas and Braxton Owens; his nieces, Kaitlynn Savannah Thomas and Aubrey Owens; aunts and uncles, Randy and Brenda Owens, Martha Owens, Daisy Phelps, Annie and Mark Davis, Laura and Evan Braxton, Doris Patterson and Mary and Chuck Gorum and a host of cousins and extended family.
He is also survived by lifelong friends Tim Hattaway, Missy Thomas, Allison Griffin, Tommie Norris, Corey Norris and Stephanie Wilson.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made in his honor at www.gofundme.com/jaythomas