OBITUARY: James Warren Thomas


James Warren Thomas passed away on Sunday night, August 6, 2023.

Jim was born at home, on June 8, 1934 in Bells, Tennessee to lifelong educators Atha Sewell and Martha Elizabeth Warren Thomas.

He picked cotton, raised pigs for FFA, and skied at Reelfoot Lake. He graduated from Cloverdale high school in Obion County in 1952. He then attended UT Martin when it was a two-year school and worked at General Motors in Pontiac, Michigan for two summers. He then attended UT Knoxville. While there, he lived at Berry Funeral Home and drove their ambulance. He received a BS in agriculture in 1956.

After a year of teaching agriculture in Rutherford, Tennessee, Jim went to the U.S. Navy Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island achieving the rank of lieutenant (junior grade). He was a navigator on a Super Constellation airplane based in Newfoundland and also served on the aircraft carrier USS Lake Champlain.

Jim became a salesman for Wayne Feeds in Kentucky and Tennessee. He was recruited by the FBI and became a Special Agent in July 1965 retiring in August 1985. He served in Minneapolis and Pittsburgh field offices plus resident agency offices in Minot, North Dakota, Charleston, West Virginia, Ronceverte, West Virginia, Elizabethtown, Kentucky, and Columbia, Tennessee.

After retirement, he raised cattle in Loretto, Tennessee and on his Mount Joy Road farm in Maury County.

Jim was immersed for the forgiveness of sins at age 15 and was faithful to that commitment all of his life. He served as a teacher, deacon, and elder of the Lord’s church. He attended South Gate church of Christ. His greatest joy was baptizing into Christ his father and his four sons.

Jim is survived by his wife of 57 years Myra Lee Morrow Thomas.

Their sons and wives all live in Columbia. They are: David and Jan Kesler Thomas and their children Robert, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Michael and his wife Emma of Nashville, Rachel and her fiancé, Logan Prentice of Columbia, and Elizabeth of Nashville. James A. and Jennifer Duggin Thomas and their sons Andrew, Luke, and Caleb. John and Natalie Porter Thomas and their 4 sons: John Allen and his wife, Hannah, Daniel and his fiancé, Allison Jones, Nathan, and Matthew.

Jim’s brother Charles Thomas died in 1989. Jim’s second son Daniel Warren Thomas died at age 18 in an auto accident in 1988.

Visitation with the family will be at the South Gate Church of Christ, Thursday, August 10, 3 to 7 p.m. The celebration of life will be at the South Gate Church of Christ Friday, at 11 a.m. The family will have a private burial at Morrow Cemetery. Military honors will be provided by Herbert Griffin American Legion Post 19. Oakes & Nichols Funeral Directors are assisting the family with arrangements.

Honorary pallbearers are Rick Barker, Randy Cornwell, Dr. Vance Hendrickson, Carter Hill, Mike Kesler, Dr. Fred Porter, Ralph Richardson, Joe Roberson, and Dr. Willie Robinson.

Memorials may be made to the Daniel Thomas scholarship fund at Columbia Academy.

Condolences may be extended online at


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