Russell Thomas III: December 5, 2021

Published 2:16 pm Monday, December 6, 2021

It is with profound sadness the family of Russell Thomas III mourn his death on December 5 at his home in Americus, Georgia. After a courageous and hard-fought battle with prostate cancer, Russell died at the age of 61 with his wife Angie by his side.Russell will be lovingly remembered by his wife Angie Ballard Thomas; daughters Emily Anne Strickland (Michael), Sara Beth Wolcott (Derek) and Mary Frances Thomas (John); grandchildren Samantha, Madison, Thomas, and Barrett; father Russell Thomas Jr; mother and father-in-law Emily Jean and Richard Ballard; sisters and brothers Frances; Anne, Beth, and Braxton and many loving nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. He was predeceased by his mother, Mary Anne Warnell Thomas.

Russell met the love of his life, his wife Angie, while the two were in high school. They were married in 1980 in Americus, Ga, and in 2021 they celebrated 41 years of marriage. The depth of their love and support sustained them through good times and hard times, and their love lives on in their children Emily Anne, Sara Beth, and Mary Frances. Russell was a devoted father to “his girls,” and he was unendingly proud of each of them. The legacy of Russell’s kind spirit, graciousness, and love of the land live on in them and his grandchildren.

Russell was born in 1960 and raised in Americus, Ga. Though he traveled widely for his work and during his service in the U.S Army Reserves, his home was always Americus and the family farm in Sumter County.  He grew up working with his father on the farm and was driving a tractor by the age of 8. He worked with his father Russell Thomas Jr and his father-in-law Rich Ballard as a farm manager and drilling supervisor before starting his own business in 1993.

In college at Georgia Southwestern University, Russell joined ROTC and proudly served his country in the United States Army Reserves. He was a combat engineer working in this country and overseas. He retired after 15 years of service as a Captain. Russell returned to school and received his master’s degree in management from Troy State University in Troy, Alabama. He was a member of the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity.

Russell then began a 15-year career in agricultural products sales and management starting as a manager with Southern States Coop, before joining Verdesian Life Science in Cary, North Carolina as a sales manager and later V.P. of Sales for the South & Eastern United States. Before cancer cut his career short, Russell was General Manager of Stoller USA in Houston, Texas.

Russell participated fully in the life of his community. He was a volunteer first responder with advanced training in emergency management. Earlier in his life, he served on the board of the Sumter County Department of Family and Children’s services. He served as a State Board Member of the Georgia Forestry Association. He was a long-time member of the First United Methodist Church, Americus, Georgia.

His many friends will remember his open heart, generous hospitality, and gift of making everyone feel special and welcome. Like Thomas Jefferson, he never allowed a difference of opinion to come before friendship. During his brave fight against an aggressive cancer, his love of his family only grew stronger, and his faith in God did not waver.

A memorial service will be held at First United Methodist Church on Monday, December 13, 2021 at 10:00 AM with Rev. Daryl Brown and Rev. Reggie Underwood officiating the service. The family will receive friends after the service.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the League of the Good Samaritan at Magnolia Manor or the First United Methodist Church Americus, Georgia.

You may sign the online guestbook and share your memories at www.greghancockfuneralchapel.com

Greg Hancock Funeral Chapel is in charge of these arrangements.