Jack N. Thomas, age 87, of Carlisle, died on Friday, May, 15, 2015 at his home.
He was born in Cisna Run on January 23, 1928 to the late Dean and Myrtle Nesbit Thomas and was the widower of the late Vera Mae Smith Thomas who died in February 2014. Jack and Vera had been married for over 65 years.
In 1951, Jack worked nights for the PA Railroad in Enola. This allowed him to work part-time painting, clerking for Gable's Hardware in Harrisburg, selling Fuller Brush Co. products and eventually for a store that sold sewing machines. As he became more skilled at sales, Jack borrowed $100 from his Grandmother Nesbit to buy two sewing machines to sell door-to-door. With the profit from those first two machines, he bought more. Business prospered and Jack quit the railroad and eventually opened stores in Carlisle and Shippensburg. Outgrowing the Louther Street store, Thomas Sewing Center moved to 28 S. Hanover Street in 1967. The following year fabrics and notions were added to the inventory and overseen by Jack's wife, Vera. In 1972, TSC moved to 23 N. Hanover Street and became known for its fine fabrics, quality sewing machines and excellent service. In 1981, the Thomas' sold TSC to their son Dennis and for the next 33 years, they sold Shaklee Nutritional Products until Jack retired on December 31, 2014 at the age of 87. Their business with Shaklee enabled Jack and Vera to travel extensively around the world. They also enjoyed being with their family and working together in their flower gardens on their property along the Letort Spring Run. Jack belonged to Emmanuel Baptist Church in Shiremanstown.
Jack is survived by three daughters, Jacqui (and husband David) Grier of Kingston, Ontario, Barbara (and husband Robert) Musser of New Providence, PA and Melissa (and husband Marty) Thomas-Brumme of Maytown, PA; two sons, Dennis (and wife Shirley) Thomas of Carlisle and Jonathan (and wife Mary Beth) Thomas of Reading, MA; two half-sisters, Lorena Rice and Ada Comp; twelve grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his brother Richard Thomas.
Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Monday, May 18, 2015 at Hoffman-Roth Funeral Home & Crematory, Inc., 219 N. Hanover St., Carlisle, PA with Rev. Steve Crews officiating. There will be a viewing at the funeral home on Monday from 12:00 noon until the time of the services. Jack's children will host a Life Celebration for Jack and Vera at their home immediately following the funeral service. Private burial will be at Blain Cemetery, Blain, PA.
To sign the guestbook, please visit www.hoffmanroth.com