Thomas Elliott Thoms, Jr.

Thomas Elliot Thoms, 71, went to be with the Lord on November 2, 2017.  Tom was born in 1946 in Huntsville, Texas.  He was the son of Betty and Elliot Thoms.  His father’s job in the oil business allowed him and his family the opportunity to live in many towns throughout the south.  He graduated from Hattiesburg High School in 1964.  He earned a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering in 1969 from Mississippi State University where he was a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity.

Following his graduation, he married his high school sweetheart, Lynda Thomas Thoms on July 26, 1969.  Tom and Lynda moved to St. Simon’s Island, Georgia where he began his career as a Chemical Engineer with Hercules, Inc.  While at Hercules, he became a member of the PEP Leadership Team and served as a  Junior Achievement Advisor.  He also produced the All School Production of “Cheaper By The Dozen” at Brunswick High School.   While in Georgia, his two sons, Bobby and Rusty were born.  After several transfers with Hercules, the family settled in Hattiesburg, Mississippi in 1978.  Life became very full and active.  He coached the Royal Ambassador basketball team at First Baptist Church and numerous baseball teams for Bobby and Rusty, while also fulfilling his idea of creating the Family Fun Video Game business.

Tom loved teaching.  He spent many years teaching the Young Adult and Youth Sunday School classes at First Baptist Church.  He also taught a small group Bible Study and served as a Deacon.  This love of teaching brought about a career change.  In 1988, he received a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Southern Mississippi.  For the next 26 years, Tom loved being in the classroom at Pearl River Community College, teaching Psychology where he helped students find their hope and potential in life.  He loved them and they loved him back.  He especially enjoyed teaching the Leadership Class and was awarded the Pearl River Community College Humanities Council Mississippi Teacher of the Year.   Along with his family, this was his greatest joy.  Later in life, Tom and Lynda became active members of University Baptist Church where he served as a Deacon and on various committees.  Tom loved life and enjoyed tennis, golf, traveling, visiting with people and all things Mississippi State.  Most of all, the love of his life was his grandchildren, who affectionately called him “T”.

Tom is preceded in death by his parents.  He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Lynda; sons, Bobby (Amie) of Keller, Texas, and Rusty (Lindsey) of Madison, Mississippi; his six grandchildren, Drew, Jack, Sam, Whit, Isabelle and Will.  He is also survived by his brothers, Terry (Sandy) of Athens, Georgia, and Tim (Betsy) of Fayetteville, Georgia, and a number of nieces, nephews and cousins.

Visitation will be held Sunday, November 5th from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m. at University Baptist Church.  The service will be Monday, November 6, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. at University Baptist Church with visitation preceding the service at 10:00 a.m.

Memorials may be made to Pearl River Community College, 101 U.S. Highway 11, Poplarville, Mississippi 39470, or University Baptist Church, 3200 West Arlington Loop, Hattiesburg, Mississippi 39401.