He was born in Lynn on Christmas day 1925, dear son of the late Allan and Isabel (Nichols) Thomas, and the youngest of seven siblings.
A proud Marine, he served his country in WWII with the Fourth Marine Division and received the Purple Heart for injuries sustained on Iwo Jima.
He married the love of his life, Nickie (Audrey L. Nickerson) in 1948 and moved to Wilmington, MA in 1955, where they raised their family.
Ed worked as a lithographer for the Wright Offset Plate Company in Cambridge until his retirement. He was a past president and an active member of the Tewksbury Rod and Gun Club for many years. He was an active bullseye pistol competitor in the Merrimack Valley Pistol League and later in the New Hampshire Pistol League.
He was also a devoted member and past officer of the First Parish Unitarian Church in Billerica. He was predeceased by his beloved wife in 1972.
In 1987, he built his retirement home at his cherished Province Lake, and has enjoyed watching his children and grandchildren grow to love it the way he did. He loved feeding the birds, delighted in the yearly return of the orioles and hummingbirds, and enjoyed watching the eagles on the lake. He looked forward to his daily breakfast of blueberry pancakes with his many good friends and the owners of Papa’s Kitchen, Kyle and Paula. He recently returned from Camp Lejeune where he and his family attended the “final muster” for the 4th Marine Division Association. It was the last of many Marine reunions which he and his son had attended, and was one of the many highlights in his long life.
Edward was the loving father of Ronald E. Thomas and his wife Sue E. of Northwood, NH, Wendy L. O’Rourke and her husband Michael P. of Highlands Ranch, CO, and Becky S. Lightizer and her husband Jeffrey of Plaistow, NH. Cherished grandfather of Jason D. O’Rourke and his wife Annie, Chad J. Thomas and his wife Laura, Katie O’Rourke, Heather J. Pearson and her husband Adam, Jesse A. Thomas, Scot A. Lightizer, and Jacob T. Lightizer, and proud great-grandfather of Anna J. and Emily H. Pearson. Ed will also be missed by nieces, nephews, and his many friends. Well lived, well loved, and greatly missed.
Visiting Hours will be held at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, on Thursday, October 8th from 5:00-8:00 p.m. Family and friends will gather for a Funeral Service on Friday, October 9th at 11:00 a.m. in the First Parish Unitarian Church, 7 Concord Road, Billerica, MA. In lieu of flowers, donations in Edward’s memory may be made to Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA), Attn: Memorials, 533 W. Uwchlan Ave, Downingtown, PA 19335 or to Semper Fi Fund, 825 College Blvd, Suite 102, PMB 609, Oceanside, CA 92057. His family plans a celebration of his life to be held at the lake, at a future date, to be announced later.