Cover photo for James Thomas's Obituary
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1951 James Thomas 2015

James Thomas

July 28, 1951 — July 1, 2015

Mr. James Thomas, 63, of Naples, FL passed away Wednesday, July 1, 2015 in Birmingham, Alabama.

A memorial service will be held Sunday, July 5, at 2:00 pm at First Presbyterian Church of Tallassee, Alabama with Rev. Chris Bower and Rev. Dr. Bill Stepp officiating. A separate memorial service will be held in Naples, Florida. Details will be posted on Jim’s website at

He is survived by brothers, Robert Thomas, Richard Thomas and William Thomas and several nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents, E. L. Thomas Jr. and Bertie Green Thomas; his wife, Marlene Thomas; and his older brother, Russell Thomas.

James R. Thomas was born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama on July 28, 1951. He was raised in Fairfield, Alabama and attended Fairfield Elementary, Junior High and High School graduating in 1970. He moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida in 1972 where he joined the staff of a Christian Drug Rehabilitation Center known as "The Turning Point". In 1973 while ministering with Rev. Dr. Bill and Bettie Ann Stepp he moved to Naples, Florida, and began his career with the Collier County Parks and Recreation Department. His service began as a summer camp counselor and in 1977 he began his full time career as a Recreation Programmer in Immokalee, Florida. His career spanned some 34+ years of service in many capacities and positions within Parks and Recreation. Some of those positions included Athletic Supervisor for numerous youth sports; Collier County Coordinator for Senior Games; Summer Service Food Coordinator for Collier County for 20 years. While in that position he was awarded several State honors and Congressional recognition for feeding thousands of needy children. Jim spearheaded many innovative special events and programs like marathons and pedal car races for youth. Jim also hosted major league soccer events and a model airplane club. In addition, he assisted with the Collier County Special Olympics games. Jim retired after an incredible tour of service with the Collier County Government in 2011. Jim held the nickname "Unofficial Mayor of Collier County" which reflects the multitude of lives he not only came into contact with but had a profound influence upon. Jim was very active with his church family first with the Golden Gate Presbyterian Church for years and then with the First Presbyterian Church of Bonita Springs serving as a Deacon. He will be greatly missed by his family and all who knew him. Online condolences at

Linville Memorial Funeral Home
Eclectic, Alabama

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First Presbyterian Church

514 Central Blvd, Tallassee, AL 36078

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