Ronald B. "Ron" Thomas

Long-time public servant and educational administrator Ronald B. Ron Thomas passed away at his home Wednesday. He was 78. Known as Ron to most, Mr. Speaker to his Elizabethtown City Council peers, and Ponzie to his grandchildren, Thomas was a lifelong Elizabethtown resident born March 27, 1943. A graduate of Elizabethtown Catholic high school in 1961, Thomas then received a bachelor of arts from Bellarmine University in psychology/sociology in 1961 and completed his masters degree in public service from Western Kentucky University in 1971. The following year, he began a 23-year career as Dean of Student Affairs at the (then) Elizabethtown Community College, where he remained until his 1995 retirement. Thomas was a lifetime member of St. James Catholic Church and was past chairman of the St. James Parish Council, was recognized as a Kentucky Colonel, and was a recipient of the Rotary Club Paul Harris Fellow award. Thomas is largely known for his long tenure on the City Council, serving in two terms: 19841995 and again from 19992018. At the time of his 2018 retirement, his 30 storied years of elected leadership were the longest in Elizabethtown City Council history. His final Council meeting presented him with both a standing ovation and a vote to recognize his devotion to the city and its parks as Mayor of the Lake. Later, in 2020, this title was cemented when the city dedicated the Freeman Lake Park fishing & boat dock in his honor, a ceremony Thomas was able to attend with his family in the company of Elizabethtown leadership from across many decades of city government. It was an appropriate honor; Thomas was known as an avid fisherman and boating enthusiast. In an article following his retirement from City Council, it was noted, if there is one thing Thomas wants to be remembered for, its how he has tried to make people feel over the years. Perhaps, in his own history-conscious way, he was writing his epitaph. In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson: To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the beauty in others; to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know that one life has breathed easier because you lived here. This is to have succeeded. Thomas is survived by two daughters, Ange (Glenn) Deaton and Ginny ODaniel; three grandchildren, Thomas & Ramsey Deaton and Piper ODaniel; two sisters, Judy Thomas and Alice Senior; and long-time friends Sharon Spratt, Mark Hagan, Mark Harris, and Jimmy Knight. He was preceded in death by his parents, Perry & Virginia (Buckles) Thomas; one granddaughter, Lillian Clare Deaton; and one brother-in-law, Vince Senior. Visitation at Brown Funeral Home will be held Sunday, November 21, from 2pm6pm, with a rosary service at 5:30pm. Funeral Mass will be held Monday, November 22, at 11am at St. James Catholic Church. A private burial will take place at a later date. Memorial contributions can be made to Elizabethtown Community & Technical College, noting the Ronald B. Thomas Memorial Scholarship Fund, c/o Megan Stith, 600 College Street Road Elizabethtown, KY 42701. Condolences may be expressed at


Sunday, November 21, 2021 from 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Brown Funeral Home


Monday, November 22, 2021 starting at 11:00 AM
Brown Funeral Home

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