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1935 Dr. John 2024

Dr. David Thomas

September 15, 1935 — April 11, 2024

Henderson, TN

DR. JOHN DAVID THOMAS

 Henderson, TN: John David Thomas, age 88, passed away April 11, 2024. 

John David Thomas was born September 15, 1935, in Akron, OH, and grew up in Akron, OH, and Pottsville, KY, the son of the late George Christopher and Mattie Keesee Jones Thomas. He went to school in Lowes, KY, and graduated from Mayfield High School in 1953, while working at a local radio station. He preached at various places throughout his life beginning as a teenager. He graduated from David Lipscomb College in 1957, with a Bachelor’s degree in speech and minors in Greek and Bible. He preached in Lowes, KY, before going to the University of FL at Gainesville to earn his Master's degree while teaching speech and coaching debate. 

David Thomas joined the faculty of Freed-Hardeman in 1959, and later received a PhD from University of IL Urbana-Champaign in communication. He married Reba Tucker in 1961. They had three daughters, Linda, Laura, and Lisa. He was a teacher and academic administrator at Freed-Hardeman from 1959 until 2000. Reba Tucker Thomas passed away in November 2000.

Dr. Thomas had been a member of the Henderson Church of Christ since 1959, and had served as a deacon and Sunday school teacher. He was very involved in the missions committee and made eighteen mission trips to Russia. He also served as liaison for Russian education at Freed-Hardeman, coordinating exchange programs with universities in Russia (and later China). David married Sherry Sellers McCaskill in December 2002. They made their home in Henderson and continued to make mission trips to Russia. 

During his years at Freed-Hardeman Dr. Thomas worked tirelessly to guide the school from a two year junior college to a four year university with masters programs. He served the university in many capacities during and after his retirement always focusing on improving academic standards and technology. He was also an active member of the Henderson Civitan Club for many years serving as Club President, Chaplin, and District Governor.  

Since 2021, Dr. Thomas had resided at Stones River Manor in Murfreesboro, TN. 

Dr. Thomas is survived by his wife, Sherry Sellers McCaskill Thomas of Henderson; three daughters, Linda Williams of Murfreesboro, Laura (Bryan) Hall of Cane Ridge, and Lisa (Chadd) Moore of Nashville; two stepsons, Richard (Lorie) McCaskill of Jackson, and John (Michelle) McCaskill of Henderson; and two step daughters, Kim (David) Mann of Bradford, and Camille (Doug) Hunter of Titusville, FL; five grandchildren, Josh Hall, Jennifer (Alex) Mojaverian, Franklin Williams, Michael Williams, and Anzel Moore; nine step grandchildren, Brett McCaskill, Blake (Maria) McCaskill, Chelsea (Nathan) Foster, Eli (Jenna) Mann, Jesse McCaskill, Alex McCaskill, Andrew McCaskill, Grant Hunter, and Jamie Hunter; four great grandchildren, Anna Hall, Morgan Hall, Emri Hall, and Maxine Mojaverian; five step great grandchildren, Kaleb McCaskill, Jakob McCaskill, Parker McCaskill, Riley Foster, and Rhett Foster. He was preceded in death by his sister, Sandra Leonard of Hickory, KY. 

Funeral services will be held Sunday, April 14, 2024, at 3:00 pm at Shackelford Funeral Home - Casey Chapel with Dr. Milton Sewell and Dr. Billy Smith officiating. Burial will follow in Chester County Memory Gardens.

The family will receive friends before the ceremony from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Reba Thomas Endowment Fund at Freed-Hardeman University.

Shackelford Funeral Directors – Casey Chapel

304 Crook Avenue

Henderson, TN 38340

731-989-2421

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dr. David Thomas, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Sunday, April 14, 2024

1:00 - 3:00 pm (Central time)

Shackelford Funeral Directors - Henderson

304 Crook Ave., Henderson, TN 38340

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Starts at 3:00 pm (Central time)

Shackelford Funeral Directors - Henderson

304 Crook Ave., Henderson, TN 38340

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Livestream

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Starts at 3:00 pm (Central time)

Shackelford Funeral Directors - Henderson

304 Crook Ave., Henderson, TN 38340

Livestream

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Burial

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Starts at 4:00 pm (Central time)

Chester County Memory Gardens

US Hwy. 45 South, Henderson, TN 38340

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