Derrell Autry Thomas was born on August 19, 1934 in Columbus, Georgia. His earthly life ended on June 14, 2017, when he stepped into the presence of Jesus. He graduated from Forest Park High School in 1952. As quarterback of the football team he led the Panthers as they won the State Championship title in 1951, and subsequently was named Quarterback of the Year for the State of Georgia for that year. He married his high school sweetheart, Patricia Mayo, who was also the cheerleading captain, on October 4, 1952. He loved baseball, boating, raising cattle and bluegrass music. Throughout the years he enjoyed listening to the Grand Ole Opry on the radio. He loved being on the water. Whether it was Lake Lanier, or on the ocean, the sound of water lapping on the bow of the boat soothed his soul. He cruised his boat for many years through the Keys in southern Florida, and across to the Bahamas countless times. He was a very successful businessman, and was well-respected in the community. He is preceded in death by his son, Steve Thomas; his father, Autry Lee Thomas; as well as his younger brother, Farrell Thomas. He is survived by his wife, Patricia Mayo Thomas, and his daughter, Julie Thomas, both of McDonough, Georgia; his daughter-in-law, Denise (Rodgers) Thomas, of Kingston Springs, TN; four grandchildren: Mandi Slatton, Carly Thomas, Stefanie Businda, and Zack Atha; as well as four great-grandchildren: Taylor & Emma Slatton, and Charlie & Waylon Businda. Derrell’s presence on this earth will be sorely missed by any who knew him. Visitation will be held at Thomas L. Scroggs Funeral Directors in Morrow, GA on Monday June 19th from 11am to 1pm and the service will be held at 1pm. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Deeper Still of Atlanta, P.O. Box 1941, McDonough, GA 30253.
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