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Rev. Haywood Thomas Jr., 79, minister, advocate for the spiritual rehabilitation of inmates

Rev. Haywood Thomas Jr.
Rev. Haywood Thomas Jr.

Rev. Haywood Thomas Jr., a native of York County, died Oct. 9, 2015, at the age of 79.

He was one of four children of the late Verabell and Haywood Thomas Sr., born on Sept. 17, 1936. He was preceded in death by his loving wife of 55 years, Louise Elizabeth Thomas; one brother; and great-grandchild, Isaiah Washington.

He was educated in York County and was in the first class to graduate from the James Weldon Johnson School. As a member of Zion Prospect Baptist Church, he served as a deacon until he accepted the call into the ministry in October 1991. He served as a superintendent and Sunday school teacher. He was active in the senior choir and Men of Faith. He was also a member of the United Christian Brotherhood.

As a minister of the Set Free Ministry, his passion was to minister and advocate the spiritual rehabilitation of inmates as well as provide guidance upon their release. He served fervently until his wife’s illness.

Haywood was a loving and caring husband, father, grandfather, father-in-law, brother-in-law, uncle and friend. He was a kind and generous man whose spirit was an inspiration to all he encountered.

Throughout his life, he modeled examples of faith and courage through adversity. He fought a good fight and will be missed by all who knew and loved him.

His blessed memories will always be cherished by his loving and devoted children, Deborah Swinton, Orsby Thomas Sr. (A. Darlene), Darlene Thomas and Linda Hill; brothers, Fulton and Willie Thomas; grandchildren, Shana Mose (Matthew), Lajoyce Williams (Emanuel), Orsby Thomas Jr. and Lillie Hill; great-grandchildren, Justus, Amir, Emaré, Nella, Ovontae and Omani; and a host of nieces, nephews, family and friends.

A viewing will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 16, 2015, at Zion Prospect Baptist Church, 408 Darby Road, Yorktown, VA 23693. A funeral service will be held at noon on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015, at the church.

Please leave online condolences for the family at Whiting’s Funeral Home.

To view the full list of WYDaily obituaries, click here.

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