GRUNDY, Va. — Eldridge Edward Thomas, 77 years of age, of Grundy, Va., passed away Tuesday, November 20, 2007 at the Greystone Health Care Center, Blountville, Tenn., following an extended illness.

Born in Princeton, he was the son of the late Clarence and Thelma Thomas Thomas. He was a resident of Buchanan County most of his life and was of the Baptist faith. Mr. Thomas served in the United States Army during the Korean conflict and was a retired employee of Island Creek Coal Company. He was a devoted husband, loving father, grandfather, great-grandfather and enjoyed riding Harley-Davidsons.

In addition to his parents, Mr. Thomas was preceded in death by his wife, Bertha Lester Thomas, October 7, 2000.

He is survived by: One daughter: Nancy Lester of Johnson City, Tenn.; two sons: Burlin and wife Linda Matney of Vansant, Va., Billy and wife Donna Lester of Rosedale, Va.; two sisters: Linda Galowski of Winston Salem, N.C. and Mary Hicks of McDowell County; one brother: James Thomas of Florida. Also, survived by 12 grandchildren, five great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by one daughter: Judy Taylor and several brothers and sisters.

Funeral Services for Eldridge Edward Thomas will be conducted Friday, November 23, 2007 at 1:00 p.m. at the Grundy Funeral Home Chapel with Pastor Larry Ratliff Sr. officiating with burial to follow in Mountain Valley Memorial Park, Big Rock, Va.

Friends may call at the Grundy Funeral Home Chapel Thursday evening at 6:00 p.m.

Active pallbearers will be: Family and friends.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be made in the form of a donation to the Victory Baptist Church Building Fund, Rt. 2 Box 152B, Vansant, VA 24656.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at

Grundy Funeral Home of Grundy, Va. is in charge of all arrangements.