Obituary for James Ray Thomas

James Ray Thomas, 86, passed away peacefully at First Health Hospice in Pinehurst on December 25, 2022, after a short illness. His wife, Sally, was by his side when he transitioned to his heavenly home. 

Jim Thomas was born October 9, 1936, in Carthage, NC to the late Raymond M. and Ruby Doss Thomas. He was preceded in death by his son, Danny R. Thomas, and his grandson, William D. Thomas. He was also preceded in death by his brother Larry Thomas, and sisters, Janet Dickerson and Carol Reynolds of Sanford.

Jim is survived by his wife, Sally R. Thomas, his two sons, Hamp Thomas (Sherri) of Whispering Pines, and Mark Thomas (Teresa) of Spruce Pine; granddaughter, Dr. Lauren Thomas (Kevin) of Jacksonville, FL, great grandchildren, Camden, Sophia & Charlotte; granddaughter Shelley Upton (Kent), and great granddaughter Amelia. He is also survived by two brothers, Steve Thomas (Donna) of Whispering Pines, and Russell Thomas (Diane) of Sanford, as well as many favorite nieces and nephews. 

Jim worked for twenty years for the United Telephone Company as a commercial manager. Jim and Sally opened Old South Realty in Southern Pines. Jim was the original “house flipper” starting with Park Place, formerly the Tilton Hilton, in 1979 on East New Hampshire Avenue in Southern Pines. 

Jim was an active member of the Southern Pines United Methodist Church for many years, and served on the Board of Trustees and Administrative Counsel.  He taught Sunday School and loved studying and teaching the letters of Apostle Paul. He was also an avid golfer who enjoyed the game and was quite competitive. He loved his grandchildren and great grandchildren; and had a soft spot for all animals.

During his lifetime, Jim was an active citizen of the community, serving on many boards and committees.  He was the recipient of the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, served as President of the Southern Pines Rotary Club, served as President of Pinehurst-Southern Pines Area Association of Realtors, was awarded Realtor of the Year, and was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award. He also served as Chairman of Sandhills/Moore Coalition for Human Care, served on the Board of Commissioners for the Moore County Tax Assessor, and was campaign Chairman for the United Way of Moore County. 

A Celebration of Life Service will be held at Southern Pines United Methodist Church in Southern Pines at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 7, 2023.  The family will receive friends in the Fellowship Hall after the service. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Southern Pines United Methodist Church at 175 Midland Road. 

Online condolences may be made at

Services entrusted to Boles Funeral Home of Southern Pines. 

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