Jerry Winburn Thomas (Ed.D. ’79)

Jerry was a former math teacher, principal, and Director of Data Processing at La Porte Independent School District in La Porte, Texas. He retired in 1994, after 33 years with the district. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Southern State College, now Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia, Arkansas in 1961. He earned a Masters of Arts in 1969, from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and a Doctor of Education from the University of Houston, Houston, Texas in 1979. He also taught math at Lee College in Baytown, San Jacinto Junior College in Pasadena, and Lone Star College in the Woodlands. Jerry grew up a country boy in a small town in Arkansas and was always reminding his son that it did not stop him from achieving his goals. He met the love of his life, Anita Murphy of De Queen, Arkansas. They were married in 1961 and celebrated 59 years of marriage on July 1, 2020. Jerry and Anita spent many years traveling to all 50 states and several European countries. A highlight of his teaching career was being selected to receive a Fulbright Exchange Teacher Award to Teach math at Ernesford Grange School in Coventry, England in 1974-75. He took his family and they all had a great time forming new friendships. It was a meaningful experience for him to teach the math students there. A particularly special time in England was going to a 4th of July Garden Party at Lancaster House and meeting the Queen Mother of England. He was able to bow, shake her hand, and talk to her, as she commented on the fact that he was from Texas. He lived a full and complete life filled with many friends from Alaska, England, and of course La Porte and The Woodlands, and many places in between. He was preceded in death by his parents, Clyde and Artie Thomas of Arkansas. He is survived by his wife, Anita, and his children, Scott (Shelley) of Glen Burnie, Maryland, and Sherrie of Savannah, Georgia. He is also survived by two sisters, Elizabeth (Bob) of Fayetteville, North Carolina and Inez (Max) of Mena, Arkansas, and many nieces and nephews. Another survivor is his precious dog, a Shih Tzu, of eight years, Sadie. While waking one evening, he risked his life to save Sadie from a vicious attack by a German Shepherd. Both survived with several injuries. She and Jerry had a very special bond. Jerry was a Christian and a member of The Woodlands United Methodist Church. No services are planned at this time, due to the Covid-19 virus.

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