Franklin D. Thomas

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Franklin D. Thomas, age 87, of Dublin, Virginia, passed from this life to life eternal with His Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on Tuesday, May 7, 2024.  Born January 5, 1937, he was the son of the late George Clinton Thomas and Lillie Gray Jones Thomas.  His passing was also preceded by two brothers, George Clinton “Bud” Thomas, Jr. and Bobby Lee Thomas.

Franklin graduated from Radford High School, where he lettered as a member of the track team.  Completing the four-year Lynchburg Foundry Trade School, he became a Master Electrician, and later earned his Virginia License as an electrician.  His career remained with Lynchburg Foundry in Radford, Virginia, until his retirement.

As an electrician at Lynchburg Foundry, he was asked to design the first lighted Christmas decorations for downtown Radford.  He designed a star with white light bulbs, and they were hung from downtown light poles for many years.  He was a member of the Dublin Jaycees, a long-time active member of the Dublin Lions Club, volunteered with community outreach organizations, and served on the Board of the First New River Valley Credit Union in Radford, Virginia.

Franklin was a born again Christian and worshipped with Pentecostal churches in the area.  He was an avid reader of the Bible and took several Bible Study classes, including Mike Whitaker’s Bible Study Class.  He also appreciated the teachings of Dr. Billy Graham and Dr. Jerry Falwell.

Claytor Lake for many years was a “second home” to Franklin and his family.  They kept a camp trailer on the lake for many years, where they enjoyed boating, skiing, campfires, telling stories at night around the fire, and just enjoying the company of many fellow campers and family members.  Eventually he built a home on the lake and continued sharing his home and water sports with family, friends, and neighbors.  He always had a “word of wisdom”, a story-type joke to share, and a pat on the back or hug.

Franklin is survived by three daughters: Kathryn McCanna, husband Bob, Madison Heights, Virginia; Cindi Thomas, Canton, North Carolina; and Angela Jones, husband Barry Jones, Bethlehem, New Hampshire.  He is survived by six grandchildren: Bryan McCanna (wife Brandi), Robby McCanna (wife Leanne), Preston Jones, Franconia Jones, Amelia Davis, Olivia Davis, and seven great-grandchildren: Gabbie McCanna, Lexi McCanna, Camden McCanna, Miller McCanna, John McCanna, Emberlynn Kate McCanna, and Simeon McCanna. Franklin is also survived by a dear sister, Jenny Dillon, a beloved brother, Ed Thomas (wife Karen), an endeared nephew, Nick Thomas (wife Marilyn), and many other cherished nephews, nieces, cousins, and family members.  Franklin is as well survived by a dedicated companion and caretaker, Brenda Thomas.

The Memorial Service will be Saturday, 11:00 A.M. May 18, 2024 in the Bower Funeral Home Chapel, Pulaski, Virginia.

To sign his online guestbook, visit In lieu of flowers, please consider Dublin Lions Club (PO Box 1225, Dublin VA 24084; 540-674-2754; or your church or charity of choice .Bower Funeral Home, Pulaski is handling the arrangements for the family.