Ronald Cassanova Thomas Sr.

Published 9:57pm Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Early Sunday morning, May 5, 2013, God called to rest in his heavenly home our beloved Ronald Cassanova “Cas” Thomas Sr., born to the late Harry E. Thomas and Eunice V. Wiggins on Aug. 4, 1949.


He was educated in the Suffolk Public Schools beginning with Rosenwald Union and East Suffolk elementary schools. He graduated from John F. Kennedy High School and later graduated from Fayetteville State University with a Bachelor of Science degree. He also received an associate degree in applied science for OIC Nation Institute in Philadelphia, Pa. Additional studies were done at James Madison University, Old Dominion University and the University of Virginia.

He began employment at Booker T. Washington and Driver middle schools as a P.E. teacher and then moved to John F. Kennedy High School, where he also taught P.E. and coached the football and basketball teams. He furthered his teaching at Forest Glen Middle School as a P.E. teacher. While at Nansemond River High School, he won the state championship for basketball. In 1995, he moved to the School Board office as Home School Coordinator with the Night Alternative Program. Ron was also a DJ for WEED radio station in Rocky Mount, N.C.

He was a member of Canaan Baptist Church, where he served as superintendent of Sunday school for 16 years, member of the Male Chorus and the J.E. Arrington choir, member of the Men’s Ministry, and was presently the chairperson of the Diaconate Ministry for the past six years. He was a member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. He was also active with the NAACP, Virginia Association of Visiting Teachers and School Social Workers, Virginia High School Coaches Association and Vice Chair for Sunday School Union of the Sharon Baptist Missionary Association.

He leaves to cherish his memory his beloved wife, Barbara A. Thomas; mother, Eunice V. Wiggins, of Suffolk; five daughters, Shalonda, Sharonda, CaShae, of Rocky Mount, N.C., Felicia and Vontrice (Andre), of Suffolk; two sons, Ronald Jr. (Latticia), of Laurel, Md., and Norman, of Suffolk; three sisters, Barbara Gates (Lester), of Portsmouth, Janice McClaren (Ricky), of Canal Winchester, Ohio, and Shelia Williams (Frank), of Suffolk; one brother, Jeffery Wright (Vicki), of Detroit, Mich.; two sisters-in-law, Betty Mayfield and Gloria Eason (Donald), of Suffolk; one brother-in-law, Lay Chatman; 18 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and many friends.

A funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, May 10, 2013, at Canaan Baptist Church, 2064 Nansemond Parkway, officiated by the Rev. Vernon Hairston. Interment will be in Canaan Baptist Church Cemetery. Alpha Iota Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity will conduct the fraternity’s Omega (Memorial) Service at Crocker Funeral Home from 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday, May 9, 2013. Condolences may be extended to the family at

  • quietqi

    We never question the Divine Plan but the transition of a dear friend could always be considered untimely. Untimely because we failed to say farewell the way we would have wanted. Ronald and I met during our childhood years at East Suffolk and John F. Kennedy. His upbeat,outgoing persona and spontaneous smile will forever be cherished. His unconditional friendship made my transfer to a new school much smoother as well as his other countless random acts of kindness. I will be forever grateful. Few may recall the days when a slim youthful Ronald would routinely steal the football halftime marching band performance. As a “Junior” majorette, dressed in all-white pants, socks and sneakers, Ronald would step out from the band and make his signature moves that was highlighted by his sudden dramatic pause with one leg extended in a straight line from behind then followed by transforming that “dead”leg into a shimmering wiggle-like-snake. The screams of delight from the ladies, young and old, could be heard far beyond the playing field of Peanut Park. Somewhere right now I truly believe that Cassanova is performing one more time…shaking off death to live forever. We will miss you, Ronald,…..but never forget you.

    Kuelewa Furaha

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