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Welcome to the memorial page for

John Wayne Thomas

August 27, 1944 ~ February 26, 2022 (age 77)
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John “Johnny” Wayne Thomas, a life-long resident of Garrard County, went to his eternal resting place at the age of 77, Saturday, February 26, 2022 at the VA Medical Center in Lexington, KY.

Johnny was born August 27, 1944 in Lancaster, KY to the late Elex Thomas and Nannie D. Allen. He is preceded in death by his brothers, Shirley Langford, Ernest Thomas, and Nathaniel Thomas. As well as one sister, Mary Etta Allen.

Johnny professed his life to Christ at an early age and became a member of the Davistown Baptist Church for many years. He attended Davistown Elementary until he moved to Lancaster, where he completed his high school education at Mason High School in Duncantown. Johnny excelled in his academics and sports while attending Mason High. He was captain of the basketball team and participated in other sports such as baseball. He was also a member of several clubs within the Mason School District and was named valedictorian of the 1962 graduating class.

In 1963, Johnny enlisted into the Marine Corps Charlie Company at the age of 19 and fought in the Vietnam War. He was a member of the Tactics of the Marine Rifle Squad and Operating against Guerrilla Units.  While in service, Johnny received the National Defense Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Good Conduct Medal and the Purple Heart. He honorably served his country until he was seriously injured on March 21, 1966. Johnny spent the next several months clinging to life as he went through recovery at different hospitals for the severe head and body injuries he sustained during combat. As his condition improved he was eventually released and able to come home.  As he would recall the memories of that time he would often say that he was “so thankful to be able to come home to his ray of sunshine, his baby boy Ced.”

Johnny’s adjustment from military to home life wasn’t an easy transition. It was hard for him to cope with his new reality and experiences in the military. So he began his own unhealthy healing process by hitting the streets to party and do a bit of everything. Disheartened by Johnny’s behavior, his mother stepped in and told him it was time to stop all his foolishness and had him admitted to a detox center. Upon his admission, he was given a general IQ test and scored at the highest level of anyone at that time. The center helped him enroll in the Kentucky College of Business. He went on to further his education at Central KY Vo-tech School and earned a degree in Computer Science. He made the dean’s list at both colleges. He began using his degree by working as a computer lab technician at the Garrard Co. Waste and Water Sewage Plant, where he worked for 10 years.

Johnny would struggle throughout his life with alcoholism but with the help of God he was able to overcome and sustain his sobriety for the remainder of his life. Johnny rededicated his life to Christ and attended different churches regularly in the Lancaster community. He eventually found his church family at Lancaster First Assembly where he loved hearing Pastor Wendell preach the word of God. Everyone admired his snazzy and sophisticated style, he won the best dressed father’s day prize for the past few years while attending LFA. When asked to speak Johnny would often talk about how good God has been in his life and how we should always put our faith and trust in God.

He leaves to cherish his memories, one son Cedric Leavell (Janice), one daughter Tammy Leavell; all of Danville, KY; one brother Charles Thomas Indianapolis, IN; three grandchildren Ciara, Justice and Kishon, 2 great grandchildren Xzayvier and Remi; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends; and lifetime friend Mary Francis Leavell.

Throughout the years Johnny was often remembered by his favorite quote “Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die” but that time has come for him and will eventually come to us all. Our earthly bodies must die but if we believe in Jesus Christ and walk the path of righteousness we will surely live again. Johnny always realized that in spite of all his trials and tribulations, God had always been faithful and he couldn’t have conquered in his battles without God and his family being by his side. He will be greatly missed and forever in our hearts.

Funeral services will be 1:00 PM Friday March 4, 2022 at Lancaster First Assembly of God.

Visitation will be 11:00 AM until service time at the church.

Burial will follow with full military honors at Camp Nelson National Cemetery in Nicholasville.



 Service Information

March 4, 2022

11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Lancaster First Assembly

Funeral Service
March 4, 2022

1:00 PM
Lancaster First Assembly

Military Honors
March 4, 2022

5:42 PM
Camp Nelson National Cemetery, Nicholasville

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