Robert Earl Thomas

Published 10:11 pm Friday, March 16, 2018

Robert Earl Thomas, known to friends as “Pete,” passed away on March 13, 2018, at the age of 80 years.

Robert is survived by his wife, Ethel Marie Brown Thomas; son, John Sherwood Pressley (Pamela), and stepson, Leonard Ethan Orneval. He also leaves behind five grandchildren: Johnetta Pressley (deceased), Johnna Pressley, Robert Hughes (Sarah), Monica Pressley McEathron (Donald) and Regina Pressley. Robert also leaves behind his five cherished great-grandchildren: Xavier Sullivan, Blake Pressley, Declan McEathron, Elijah and Malcolm Hughes; mother-in-law, Paula Brown; close Army buddy, Alfred Zulu Wright, and a host of family and friends.

Born to Fannie Sue Weston Thomas on June 22, 1937, Robert was a native and lifelong resident of Suffolk.


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Robert served in the U.S. Army. After his military career, he became employed as a driver with Gwaltney Meat Packing (later known as Smithfield Packing).

Mr. Thomas Visitation will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the funeral home. A funeral will take place at 1:30 p.m. on Monday at the funeral home chapel, and he will be laid to rest at Albert G. Horton Jr. Memorial Veterans Cemetery.

Expressions of sympathy and flowers may be extended at Professional funeral services are entrusted to T.E. Cooke-Overton Funeral Home Inc.