William Thomas Obituary, Death – On May 2, 2023, at the age of 78, William Franklin Thomas, popularly known as Billy, quietly passed away in his sleep. Michael Thomas, his brother, lives in Lodi, California; Helen Clark, his sister, lives in Dos Palos, California; and Jeff Crivelli, his nephew, lives in Visalia, California; and Steve Fields, his nephew, lives in Bryan, Texas. Billy earned a degree in accounting from 4C’s University. After starting off in Yosemite at the pack station, he went on to the Curry Co. maintenance shop when he turned 18.
After the National Park Service took over from Curry, he remained at Yosemite National Park in the same role as an equipment specialist. He spent his entire working life there until finally calling it quits after 40 years. Billy’s two greatest passions were Yosemite and assisting others. He led the Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) for 25 years, which was the best demonstration of his abilities. His hard efforts over the years resulted in hundreds of young people gaining experience they will carry with them for the rest of their lives, and the completion of numerous projects.
He would also help with logistics and supplies for the various fire personnel that were out battling the wildfires. Billy enjoyed spending his free time outdoors going on hikes and fishing. He frequently visited Tenaya Lake to cast his line. Even though he caught several limits, he never once ate one. Every fish he caught, he donated to charity. He was a huge Los Angeles Dodgers and Oakland Raiders enthusiast. Everyone he met benefited from his greatness. We mourn his passing. This summer will see a commemoration take place. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.