217.370.8505 cory@bletislb.org


INDEPENDENCE, Ohio, November 9 — BLET member Larry G. Thomas, a member of Division 292 in Beach City, Ohio, was killed in a yard switching accident on November 6, 2016. He was 37 years old.

An employee of the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railroad (WLE), Brother Thomas hired out as a trainman in October of 2012 and earned promotion to locomotive engineer a short time later. He joined the Brotherhood effective February 1, 2013. According to media reports, Brother Thomas was operating a locomotive by remote control at the WLE yard in Brewster, Ohio, at the time of his death.

A veteran of the United States Army, Brother Thomas was an avid motorcycle and car enthusiast. He is survived by his wife Stephanie and three children: Tyler, 9, William, 6, and Alexis, 5. He is also survived by his mother, Darlene; a sister, Tabatha; two nieces; in-laws; and numerous friends and coworkers in his extended railroad family.

Brother Lonnie Swigert, Local Chairman of Division 292, reports that the Division has helped Stephanie set up a memorial fund through the Brewster Federal Credit Union to help the family with finances following their tragic loss. Anyone wishing to make a goodwill donation to help the family should make checks payable to “Stephanie Thomas” and mail to: Lonnie Swigert, 9394 Feed Springs Rd. SE, Urichsville, OH 44683.

Visitation will be on Thursday, November 10, from 1-3 p.m. and from 6-8 p.m., at the Formet-Clevenger & Gordon Funeral Home (1803 Cleveland, Ave., Canton, OH 44709, telephone (330) 456-4766). The funeral will be held at 11 a.m. at the same location on Friday, November 11, with internment following at the Warstler Cemetery. Condolences may be left on the Gordon Funeral Home website (http://www.gordonfuneralhomes.com/notices/Larry-Thomas).

“On behalf of all men and women of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, I extend deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Brother Thomas,” BLET National President Dennis R. Pierce said. “It is a tragedy for someone so young to be taken away from his wife and young children. Our most heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time.”