Cover photo for Gene E. Thomas's Obituary
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1939 Gene 2018

Gene E. Thomas

January 1, 1939 — July 17, 2018

Nicholville- Mr. Gene E. Thomas, 79, passed away in the comfort of his home on Tuesday morning July 17, 2018 with his wife, Kay at his side.

Arrangements are entrusted to Hammill Funeral Home in Winthrop.

Gene was born in Lawrenceville on May 7, 1939 to the late Mary Thomas Roberts and Clarence Roberts in a house on Cemetery Road. He attended school in Moria and then graduated from St. Lawrence Central in Brasher Falls.

He began work on the family farm and the Crinklaw farm and would often ride his bicycle a few extra miles to see his girlfriend (later wife) after work. He also worked on Salmon Central School.

On May 29, 1960 he married Kathleen ‘Kay’ St Hilaire at St. Lawrence Church in North Lawrence. They shared in union of 58 years; always keeping it simple.

He enjoyed working on motors at a very early age. His entire life he was a dependable and reliable mechanic working at Johns Chevrolet in Massena and Boulds Pontiac Garage in Nicholville.  In 1968 Gene opened “Gene's Garage” with his wife Kay. He was a hard worker who sometimes worked outside in the freezing cold just to get the job done. Eventually he sold the garage to his nephew, William “Wheels” LaVare, who passed away on March 9, 2017.

Gene had a love for motorcycles and rebuilding cars. The last vehicle he restored was his ’31 Mercedes; something he was very proud of.

Gene also had worked for the Potsdam Paper Co. and retired from the Town of Lawrence in the late 1990's; continuing to work out of his home garage.

He would never hesitate to go out to the various farms to help a neighbor.  Gene enjoyed playing harmonica, listening to country music, going dancing and loved all his animals.

He was a past member of the North Star Motorcycle Club and Malone Antique Car Club with his wife, Kay. He was a longtime member of the Nicholville Fire Department, where he had served as Fire Chief; receiving a 37-year plaque in May of 2005.

Gene is survived by his wife, Kay; their children: Carla Ingram of Little Falls, Pamela Thomas Parker of Fort Ann, and Andrew McGregor of Pueblo, CO.; several grandchildren and great-grandchildren; a sister-in-law, Helen LaVare; nieces and nephews whom were like his children: Rick LaVare, Shelly Vincent, Judy LaVare, Amy LaVare, and Mary Lavare.

Calling hours will be held Wednesday July 18th from 4-7 PM. Gene’s Funeral Service and Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Thursday July 19th at 10:00 AM at the Church of the Holy Cross in Hopkinton. Burial will take place at St. Lawrence Cemetery at a later date.

For those wishing to express an act of kindness, memorial contributions can be made to the Potsdam Animal Shelter.

Memories and condolences may be shared at

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