Oscar listens attentively to a presentation at Richard Frajola’s “Taos Philatelic Rendezvous” held in Taos, NM in September, 2013.
In Memory of Oscar Thomas, Western Cover Society Treasurer and U.S. Navy man, with a donation of $5,000.00, current Western Cover Society Treasurer Ryan Baum has taken out life memberships for the six United States Air Craft Carriers that Oscar Thomas had funded, and added 4 new ones. Membership shall last as long as the ships are in commission.
USS George H.W. Bush CVN 77
USS Ronald Reagan CVN 76
USS Harry S. Truman CVN 75
USS John C. Stennis CVN 74
USS George Washington CVN 73
USS Abraham Lincoln CVN 72
USS Theodore Roosevelt CVN 71
USS Carl Vinson CVN 70
USS Dwight D. Eisenhower CVN 69
USS Nimitz CVN 68
Oscar Melton Thomas was born December 1, 1946 in Artesia, CA, the son of Emma and Melton Thomas. He passed away August 15, 2016 at the age of 69, after a nearly three year struggle with esophageal cancer.
Oscar leaves behind his wife of 49 years, Sandra Thomas; his daughter Jennifer Snow, her husband Manny Santos, and their children Sierra and Paxton; his son Justin Thomas, his wife Rocio Thomas, and their daughter Sofia; and his sister Ginger Harris.
Oscar was proud to have served his country from 1967 to 1972 as a member of the United States Navy, being discharged as a petty officer, first class. He always retained an interest in naval postal history as a result, although he never collected it per se to my knowledge, and we would talk from time-to-time about some interesting cover he had seen or, more frequently, the ocean-travel related content of some letter.
“OT”, as many of us called Oscar, gained an interest in western express postal history in a story he related to me only four days before his passing. Oscar said he was at AMERIPEX ’86 in Chicago, going from dealer to dealer asking for covers from Inyo and Mono Counties of California (an area that remained of prime collecting interest to Oscar until his death). It so happened that WCS icon Irwin Vogel was standing nearby talking with some fellow collectors and overheard Oscar’s interest. Irwin told Oscar about the Western Cover Society, gave him a copy of Western Express, and the rest, as they say, “is history.”
The family has asked that donations be made to the Western Cover Society in lieu of flowers.