Ohio County’s longest serving Health Officer passed away on Tuesday, February 7, 2023. Dr. Thomas served as the Ohio County Health Officer from 1957 – 1998. He is credited as helping to establish the county’s first Clean Indoor Air Regulation in 1996. Dr. Thomas was also instrumental in getting federal funds to help with the construction of the current City/County Building and health department. Dr. Thomas was a member of the West Virginia Public Health Association Hall of Fame.
THOMAS L. THOMAS, age 96, of Venice, Florida, passed away on Tuesday, February 7, 2023.
Thomas, formerly of Wheeling, WV, was the loving husband of Ann (Faris) Thomas. Born in Short Creek, WV, he was the son of Lebanese immigrants, the late Latif and Rosine (Joseph Salimi) Thomas. After graduating from Wellsburg High School, Thomas served his country in the Navy from 1943 to 1946, when he was honorably discharged. He then completed undergraduate studies at West Virginia University in 1949, and a medical degree from Marquette University in 1953, and residency at Cook County Hospital in Chicago, IL in 1954.
Dr. Thomas returned to Wheeling in 1955 and opened a medical practice in nearby Elm Grove, WV. Within a few years, his practice had grown such that he partnered with Dr. Lee Jones and Dr. Donald Hofreuter. In 1965, Dr. Thomas redirected his medical career toward public health serving as the Medical Director for the Ohio County Schools for more than 25 years and as the Chief Health Officer for Ohio County for 42 years. Thomas was inducted into the West Virginia Public Health Hall of Fame in 1985. Dr. Thomas also served as the medical doctor and sports medicine physician for West Liberty University and Wheeling Jesuit College.
Thomas served as the Chairman of the Board for First National Bank of Wheeling, and then board member at WesBanco, Inc. after the merger in 1987. For more than 40 years he was the Chairman of the J B Chambers Memorial Foundation. He was recently honored with a dedication plaque at the sports complex (I-470 Ball Fields). Thomas’ leadership at J B Chambers directed support for not only the I-470 Ball Fields, but also the Creative Arts Center at Wheeling Park High School, the Sixteenth Street/Elks Playground renovation, and Wheeling Park Ice Rink, to name a few. After receiving his recognition – Thomas humbly commented: “I thank God for giving me the ability to help and do for other people.”
To Thomas, being with family was everything and he will always be remembered for his love, understanding and support. In addition to his wife Ann of 65 years, he was the beloved father of Janet Coringrato of Fogelsville, PA, Dr. David Thomas of Towson, MD, Susie Thomas of Mount Lebanon, PA, and Dr. Andrew Thomas of Wexford, PA; doting grandfather of Dr. Brian Coringrato, Katie Coringrato Heyser – NP, Averie Thomas, Hudson Thomas, Dara Thomas, Payton Baust, and Ella Thomas. Thomas is also survived by many nieces, nephews, and cousins. Thomas was preceded in death by his siblings, Agnes Robards, Bill Thomas, Nellie Magyar, and Latif Thomas.
A private service and interment will be determined at the convenience of the family. Memorial contributions may be made to the Wheeling Society for Crippled Children, 1305 National Road, Wheeling, WV 26003 or online by texting “Easter Seals WV” to 44321 and responding to link provided. Alternatively, donations may also be made to https://www.stjude.org/ or https://www.rescue.org/.
Arrangements by Altmeyer Funeral Home, 1400 Eoff St, Wheeling, WV 26003.