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William Graham Thomas
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Obituary for William Graham Thomas

It is with regret that we announce the death of William Graham Thomas.
Graham was born to Minnie and William Thomas on December 22, 1927. He grew up in the city of Decatur, GA.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his son, Greg Thomas. He is survived by his beloved wife, Rita Willis Thomas, step-children, Annette and Todd, children, Byrne and Jennifer, grand-children Danielle, Samantha, Robert, Lauren, Audrey, Angela, Wesley, and Graham and 2 great-grandchildren.

From his early days at Decatur High School, Graham became active in the Atlanta music scene. An excellent Alto Saxophone, Clarinet, and flute player. While still in high school, he was on the musical staff at WSB Radio. Graham then went to The Julliard School of Music in New York City. He then played in the United States Army band during World War II.

Afterwards, he attended the Alabama Polytechnic Institute, now known as Auburn University, where he majored in music. He was a member of the Auburn Knights Orchestra. At the time, it was rated by Metronome Music Magazine as the number one college dance band in the South. After graduation, Graham began his career as a salesman in the men’s clothing industry. In 1960, Graham became the lead Alto Saxophone player in the newly organized Atlanta 17 Orchestra. He played with the group for 56 years before retiring in 2016 due to health issues.

Graham lived a long and productive life. Always working hard and excelling at everything he did. Whether it is was building his beloved cabin on Lake Rabun, renovating the old house in Atlanta, selling suits, working on his Chris Craft boat, and keeping in touch with all of his friends and family. Graham was a loving husband, father, step-father, and the best Paw Paw ever! He will be greatly missed.

We will be honoring Graham’s life on Saturday, May 19th, beginning at 2:00.
The service will be held at A.S Turner & Son’s Funeral Home located at:
2773 N. Decatur Road
Decatur, GA 30033
Phone: (404) 292-1551


To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of William Graham Thomas, please visit our Tribute Store.

Previous Events

Room in A. S. Turner & Sons

Saturday

19

May

2:00 PM
A.S. Turner & Sons

2773 N. Decatur Road
Decatur, GA 30033

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