Stephen Kenneth Thomas, 67, husband of 34 years to Jayni Bradley, died Tuesday, January 5, 2021. Born in Billings, MT, he was the son of the late Kenneth Jack Thomas and Cora Louise Stephens Thomas. Mr. Thomas graduated from California State University at Fullerton, where he was granted membership in the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and later received his master’s in Civil/Structural Engineering. Most of his professional engineering career was spent with the Bechtel Corporation. He excelled on the Maanshan project, the SMUD project, Plant Vogtle units 1 and 2, the NSSS installation and multiple projects at the Savannah River Site. He was able to take early retirement after 20 years to devote himself to raising a family.
Steve was blessed with natural athleticism, a love for the outdoors and a love of ‘the game.’ He excelled in racquetball, waterskiing, hiking the Sierras and Appalachians, football (QB for Katella Highschool in Anaheim, CA), baseball (a high school standout earning him a scholarship to Cal State Fullerton where he played under Coach Augie Garrido), whitewater canoeing, snow skiing (every Christmas, even through chemo), and lastly soccer (after the age of 45). He went on to earn a Soccer Coaching National C License. While helping his own children succeed in soccer, he helped countless others with his volunteer work at Oconee Football Club, Oconee County Middle School, and the Athens YMCA where he was honored to receive the Service to Youth Award. His children are his biggest accomplishment and he thoroughly enjoyed watching all 3 play college soccer.
Surviving life was yet another game for Steve, he courageously battled against cancer for 10 years. Never one to complain, he would just set himself another goal to achieve. He was greatly inspired by his dear cousin, Tom, who was born with neurofibromatosis and survived to age 62. He always knew someone else was far worse off than himself.
Survivors in addition to his wife include three children: Bradley Thomas and wife Megan of Milton, GA, James Thomas and wife Sabrina of Cornelia, GA, Emily Thomas and husband Drew Coleman of Salt Lake City, UT, one sister, RueAnn Thomas and niece Cori Ann of Stratford, IA. The family will receive friends from 6 until 8pm on Thursday, January 7, 2021 at Lord and Stephens West Chapel. Interment will follow at a later date in Montana. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to The Cancer Foundation, P.O. Box 49309, Athens, Georgia 30604. Lord and Stephens Funeral Home, WEST, Watkinsville, GA is in charge of arrangements. www.lordandstephens.com
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