MERCED, Calif. — Joe Barrett Thomas, beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather passed away peacefully on Oct. 14, 2016, in Merced, Calif. Joe was born on July 6, 1929, to Ed and Mabel Thomas in Ryan, Okla.

Joe was preceded in death by his parents; son, Donald; daughter, Patricia; and all of his eight siblings.

He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Beverly Thomas; son, William Thomas; daughters, Barbara Thomas Schlosser and Susan Thomas Pereira; sons-in-law, Mike Schlosser and David Pereira; grandsons, Nathan Cox and Robert Fierro; great-grandson, Spencer Cox; great-granddaughters, Jasmine Barragan and Jalen-Rose Garces; and many beloved nieces and nephews.

Upon arriving in California in the 1940s, Joe served as a sergeant in the U.S. Army in the Korean War. Joe got his start in factory work as a young man and belonged to the Masonic Peninsula Lodge in San Carlos, Calif. He bought his first mobile home park in Ukiah, Calif., in 1966. He did most of the improvements and additions to the park himself. He also bought a motel and developed a mobile home park adjacent to it. In 1973, Joe moved his family to Merced, to own and manage the Riviera Holiday Mobile Estates. He built that mobile home park from 15 spaces to a 211 space park. He managed the park until 2014 when his health no longer allowed him to. He was loved by all who were fortunate to know him. He was well-known for his friendly smile, boisterous greeting and great bear hugs. He will be so greatly missed.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Disabled American Veterans (dav.org) in his name. Please check box “This is an honorable or memorial gift”. Special thanks to Hylond Health Care Center in Merced.

Memorial services were held in Merced on Oct. 22, 2016. Burial will take place at Bourland-Belview Cemetery in Belview, Okla., on May 26, 2017.