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Robert 'Bob' Thomas

Robert 'Bob' Thomas

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CARBONDALE — Robert “Bob” Thomas, 78, passed away at home Wednesday, July 22, 2020, after a long struggle with kidney failure.

Bob was born Jan. 5, 1942, in Chicago, to Edward Albert Thomas and Emily Daphne Thomas (Lee).

He is survived by his daughter, Melinda Thomas (Jeff Duckworth); his ex-wife, Carla Thomas, nee Phelps; sister, Andra Medea (Bonny Flaster); niece, Melody Thomas-Hafeman; and nephews Mathew and Martin Thomas.

He was predeceased by his long-term partner, Shelley Cox; parents, Edward and Emily; and brothers, Jerome Edward Thomas (Roberta) and Allen Charles Thomas.

Bob grew up in Chicago, where he went to Harper High School. He got his bachelor's degree from Southern Illinois University, where he met Carla.

He served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam era, stationed in Germany, where he ran the motor pool.

Bob returned to school at SIU and stayed in Carbondale the rest of his life, opening an air conditioning and refrigeration business.

He and Shelley especially enjoyed driving through Giant City State Park in his convertible and stopping in Makanda for some ice cream.

In retirement, Bob liked nothing more than hanging out at the local Barnes and Noble with a cup of coffee, talking with people who shared his love of books. Bob loved intellectual discussion, well-made tools and gadgets of every description. He enjoyed collecting exercise equipment and buying books about health and nutrition for his loved ones.

An informal memorial service will be forthcoming. Friends of Bob can send a message to his email,, and the family will reach out with specifics.

To plant a tree in memory of Robert Thomas as a living tribute, please visit Tribute Store.

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