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1922 William 2010

William Thomason

November 23, 1922 — August 19, 2010


William Waldo “Wedge” Thomason, 87, beloved husband, father, uncle, grandfather and great-grandfather, passed away peacefully on August 14, 2010, in London.

Wedge was born in Iuka, Kentucky, in Livingston County on November 23, 1922. Wedge was the son of the late Vernie and Maude Sexton Thomason.

He is survived by Grace “Tootsie” Thomason, his wife of sixty-six years; three children, Susan Thomason Hewitt (Tommy), Louisville, William W. Thomason Jr. (Barbara), Lexington, Richard Mark Thomason (Melanie), Raleigh, N.C.; four grandchildren, John Nichols (Kelly), Barrett Nichols (Katie), Melissa Thomason and Laura Thomason, all of Atlanta, Ga.; one great-granddaughter, Isabel Reynolds Nichols, Atlanta, Ga.; his brother, Elbert Thomason (Mary Z), Smithland, Ky.; his sister, Jean Belcher (Rudell), Henderson, Ky.; Cutchin Powell, Washington, D.C.; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his brothers, Edward, Ivan and Wayne “Coot,” and his granddaughter, Marcie Reynolds Thomason.

Wedge attended a one-room school in Mantz Spring and graduated from Livingston County High School. As a young man, Wedge, along with his father and brothers, was a telephone contractor for Southern Bell. He bought the Smithland Phone Company in 1947, where Tootsie worked as an operator, and later sold it to Telephones, Inc., becoming their first employee as State Manager. Wedge and Tootsie moved to London in 1960, after the combination of the four companies under the Telephones, Inc. umbrella with him being President of Kentucky Telephone. Continental Telephone eventually acquired Kentucky Telephone at which time Wedge assumed the well suited role of Public Affairs Director. From 1974 until their return to London in 1982 they lived in Knoxville, Tennessee, and although in Big Orange country, he never gave up his enjoyment of Kentucky football and basketball. He was formerly President and a director of the Kentucky Telephone Association. For many years Wedge was the well-recognized face of Continental Telephone Company in Frankfort, as the company’s Legislative Agent and expert witness before the Kentucky Public Service Commission. He retired in 1987, later working part-time securing cell phone tower contracts all over the state of Kentucky.

Wedge was a member of First Baptist Church of London and the McDonald’s morning coffee group. He was a Third degree Mason, receiving his 60-year pin in 2006. He had previously served as Master of Smithland Lodge 138. He was President of the Lions Club, active in the formation of the London Boosters Club and a member of the London Volunteer Fire Department. Wedge was a long-time member and former President of London Country Club, and in honor of his hard work and dedication the club dedicated the third hole to him in recognition of the perfect slice of his four wood bending around the trees.

Collecting old telephones, conductors and other memorabilia was a passion of Wedge’s and he loved displaying and telling about his collection. In 1990, his collection was on display at Renfro Valley for a number of years, before being sold to a private collector in Georgia.

Wedge was also an avid gardener and loved to work the land and share the fruits of his labor with others.

Wedge was a loving husband, father, grandfather and friend who possessed a lively spirit and wonderful sense of humor. He never met a stranger and made new friends whenever and wherever he traveled. His hard work and determination, in all areas of his life, were evident to all who knew him, and he passed those traits on to his children and grandchildren. His ready smile and warm wit will be missed by all who knew him.

Visitation will be at the First Baptist Church in London on Thursday, August 19, 2010, from 4 until 6. A full Masonic burial will be held at the Smithland Cemetery in Smithland, Kentucky, his beloved hometown, on Friday, August 20. Visitation in Smithland will be at Smith Funeral Chapel from 12 until 1 with a graveside service at 1 o’clock.

Contributions may be made to: Marcie Reynolds Thomason Student-Athlete Memorial Scholarship Fund, c/o Henry Clay High School, 2100 Fontaine Road, Lexington, KY 40502; or First Baptist Church of London, 804 West 5th St., London, KY 40741.

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