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01/17/18 - NNHS Newsletter - Millard Thomas

Millard S. Thomas
(d. 14 Jan 2018)

Newport News High School Class of 1952

Dear Friends and Schoolmates,

   We have still more sad news today. Millard "Bud" Thomas, Co-Captain of the State Championship Track Team of 1952, passed away in Williamsburg on Sunday, January 14, 2018 at the age of 85. 

From the Daily Press - 01/17/18:

            Millard S. ‘Bud’ Thomas


    WILLIAMSBURG – Millard S. ‘Bud’ Thomas, 85, passed away on Sunday, January 14, 2018.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his wife of 64 years, Joyce Marie Thomas, and is survived by his nieces, Constance, Cynthia and Terry, and a nephew, Theodore; and his Goddaughters, Wendi Keffer and Emily Young.

Millard was from Tarheel Country and was born in Henderson, North Carolina and resided there for eight years.

His family migrated to Newport News in 1940 where his father went to work for the shipyard. He retired in 1969 after 29 years of service.

Millard Thomas
  Millard attended local schools and was active in the downtown YMCA hurricanes in basketball, football and baseball. He went to Newport News High School and while there was a member of the track and field team. He participated in the pole vault, broad jump, high jump and at times the low hurdles. Under the leadership of coaches Julie Conn and Lou Plummer, the team won the 1949 and 1952 state championships. Millard was co-captain of the 1952 team.

He graduated from high school in June of 1952 and in September entered the Newport News Shipbuilding Apprentice School. However, he was only there a short time when he was drafted into the Army. After basic training he was stationed in Ulm, Germany and while there he was a member of the armed forces track team. He returned from Germany in December 1953 and was stationed in Newport News until he was discharged from Fort Monroe in October, 1954.

Millard returned to the Apprentice School and served his time in the mold loft department. He graduated from the Apprentice School in 1958.
In 1963, Millard was requested to enter the Atomic Power Division. At that time the shipyard was venturing into reactor refueling with the USS Enterprise to be the first ship to have its reactors refueled at Newport News Shipyard.

Millard participated in just about every phase of refueling imaginable including the 1st, 2nd and 3rd refueling of the CVN65 Enterprise, and the 1st refueling of CGN9, USS Long Beach. In 1970 he was loaned to Mare Island Naval Shipyard where he participated in the 2nd refueling of the Long Beach. He also worked in refueling at the naval reactor facilities in Idaho in 1968, 1970, 1971, 1980 and 1981. In 1977, he ventured all the way to Tsuruga, Japan with co-workers to work on a land based reactor. While on loan to General Electric Corp. via NNI he participated in another commercial reactor maintenance project outside of Cedar Rapids, Iowa in 1978. He worked in the shipyard’s first submarine refueling (608) and the initial core loading of the USS Nimitz and Eisenhower.

He developed the conceptual design for the wet pit arrangement of the (SSSB) and obtained Navsea’s approval without comment which was an accomplishment in itself.

He performed tasks for the deactivation of the USS Long Beach and the A1W prototype 3A and 3B plants at NRF in Idaho.

Of the 41 years in the shipyard, 30 years was in reactor services. Millard did it all – helped build the ships, refueled the ships and participated in the scraping of the USS Long Beach and NRF.

Millard enjoyed collecting Hummel figurines and had approximately 85. He also enjoyed woodworking when he had the time, shopping for bargains and traveling were some of his favorite hobbies. Millard and Joyce traveled extensively to Europe, Japan, China, New Zealand, Australia, Tahiti, Malaysia and in the states, including Hawaii and Alaska. They enjoyed a three day trip to Acapulco followed by a 14 day cruise to the Caribbean for their 40th wedding anniversary.

A graveside service will be held at 12:30 PM on Friday. 19, 2018 in Peninsula Memorial Park Mausoleum Chapel. Memorial may be made to the charity of your choice.

Arrangements are by Amory Funeral Home. View and post condolences on our online guestbook at

Published in the Daily Press on January 1
7, 2018.
View Guest Book


January 17, 2018 

  Millard and I were friends for over 50 years. We worked and traveled as friends. Millard was the most pleasant person to be with; he was always the same, smiling, easy going, and ready to do what needed to done. He will be truly missed.

~ Bo Turner, Newport News, Virginia

January 18, 2018 

~ a loved one

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Harry and I dearly loved Jimmy, he was the sweetest and kindest man we've ever known. You are all in our prayers. - See more at:


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   Our sincerest sympathies are extended to Millard's family and friends at this difficult time.

  Y'all take good care of each other!  TYPHOONS FOREVER! We'll Always Have Buckroe!

                          Love to all, Carol





Carol Buckley Harty
7020 Lure Court
Fayetteville, NC 28311-9309

The Strife Is O'er, the Battle Done

Text: Anonymous Latin; translated by Francis Pott (1832-1909)
Music: Giovanni P. da Palestrina; arranged by W.H. Monk (1823-1889)
Tune: VICTORY, Meter: 888 with Alleluias

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
The strife is o'er, the battle done,
the victory of life is won;
the song of triumph has begun.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
The powers of death have done their worst,
but Christ their legions hath dispersed:
let shout of holy joy outburst.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
The three sad days are quickly sped,
he rises glorious from the dead:
all glory to our risen Head!

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
He closed the yawning gates of hell,
the bars from heaven's high portals fell;
let hymns of praise his triumphs tell!

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
Lord! by the stripes which wounded thee,
from death's dread sting thy servants free,
that we may live and sing to thee.

"The Strife Is O'er, the Battle Done" midi (extracted with the kind assistance of my son, Nathaniel Harty of IL)
and lyrics courtesy of - 10/26/10
Thanks, Nathaniel!

Greg Olsen Paintings courtesy of – 01/27/05

Animated Army Flag clip art courtesy of - 06/18/03

Blackwork Flowers Divider Line clip art courtesy of - 08/12/04

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