Master Sergeant Richard Andrew Thomas, Jr., U.S. Air Force, Ret., was born in Dayton, Ohio (Montgomery County) on March 17, 1957, to Richard Andrew Thomas Sr. (deceased September 11, 1993) and Willie Florence (Mattison) Thomas (deceased January 4, 1986). He departed this earth on October 1, 2023, to join the Lord in heaven where he now lives in peace.
He is loved and missed immensely by the love of his life, Patricia A. (Britton) Thomas, who steadfastly stood beside him and remained committed in love wherever they found themselves across the country during 43 years of marriage.
Richard, also known as “Dicky”, and his wife share a daughter, Andricka Teresa (Thomas) Atkins (Harold Jr.,), a son, Richard Andrew Thomas III (Jazmine), and two loving grandchildren, Akaya Richelle Thomas and Richard Andrew Thomas, IV. His family will forever treasure the value he brought to their lives from moments shared with him and wisdom gained as the result of his love, confidence, and guidance.
Affectionately nicknamed ‘Afah’ by his beloved granddaughter, Akaya, this name and role in life was among his most cherished; being a grandfather filled his heart with joy and was one of his life’s proudest of honors.
He spent his very early childhood in Washington, D.C., where he began his life. In 1963, his family began their relocation to Dayton, Ohio where he spent the duration of his childhood and developed into adulthood with his 5 siblings whom he cherished and loved: Velerie (Thomas) Moreland (Victor), Kenneth W. Thomas (Tawana), William B. Thomas, Wendell G. Thomas, and Dexter L. Thomas.
Richard initially joined the United States Air Force in 1975, then re-enlisted on June 10, 1981 after the completion of his first term. During his 23-year career, he served in numerous leadership roles and capacities in aerospace jet engine propulsion and logistics career field, resulting from his experiences as an aircraft mechanic, master instructor, and logistician.
He served at duty locations all over the country, including: Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Air Force Base (AFB), Alaska; Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, Scott AFB, Missouri; Chanute, AFB, Illinois; Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio; Langley AFB, VA; and served on multiple deployments to overseas locations and American conflicts such as Operation Golden Pheasant (Honduras), the Gulf War, and Desert Storm.
Highly accomplished, Richard earned: the Meritorious Service Medal; the United States Air Force Commendation Medal; U.S. Air Force Achievement Medal; U.S. Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with 3 devices; U.S. Air Force Good Conduct Medal with 4 devices; Longevity Service Award with 3 devices; Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) Professional Military Education Ribbon with 1 device.
Master Sergeant Thomas, Jr. (Ret.) retired honorably and with distinction on January 13, 1998, from Langley Air Force Base, Virginia.
Richard and his loving wife, Patricia, moved on to the next phase of their life’s journey where he used his military experience to serve as a Regional Director with Pratt & Whitney. He was the lead logistician and liaison between the jet engine company and Robins AFB, Warner Robins, GA.
Richard was a loving husband, father, grandfather, son, brother, uncle, cousin, nephew, and dear friend to many, all who were blessed to have his affection. He loved his family dearly and enjoyed being an uncle, known for giving advice to 3 generations of more than 30 nieces and nephews each whom he loved dearly.
An insightful man, he raised his children to have foresight and confidence, to cultivate wisdom, exercise discipline, value education, operate truthfully and with honor, have dignity in all their accomplishments, along with having respect for themselves and others.
A natural leader and mentor, he had a giving heart and a huge capacity to love everyone around him. His willingness to sacrifice for the comfort of others was exemplary and indicative of the high-caliber person he was while on earth.
Richard leaves a legacy of unconditional love, strength, wisdom, and compassion for others.
His life centered on three things: Love, Family, and a focus to “begin with the end in mind.” He was truly one-of-a-kind.
Services will be held October 24, 2023, at Elizabeth Baptist Church in Atlanta, GA at 4245 Cascade Rd, Atlanta, GA 30331, and will begin promptly at 11 am. Guests should be seated no later than 10:50 am. A repast will immediately follow the service from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Elizabeth Baptist Church.
Burial services will be held at the Georgia National Cemetery in Canton, GA at 1080 Scott Hudgens Drive in Canton, GA 30114 during a military commitment ceremony promptly at 3 pm.
The family will accept flowers or donations may be given in memory of Richard Thomas, Jr. to St. Jude Children’s Hospital at 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of MSgt Richard Andrew Thomas, Jr., USAF (Ret.), please visit our flower store.
Make a donation to one of the following charities in remembrance of MSgt Richard Andrew Thomas, Jr., USAF (Ret.)