• 55°

On 100th birthday, Thomason honored for selfless giving

By Hugh Fisher
hfisher@salisburypost.com
DAVIDSON — Saturday, on her 100th birthday, Billie W. Thomason was surrounded by family and friends.
At The Pines senior living community, the former Kannapolis resident celebrated with cake and punch, and memories.
Then, members of the Kannapolis Rotary Club arrived with another surprise, an honor not just for her but for the memory of her late husband, Max.
For decades following World War II, Max Thomason worked as an engineer at Cannon Mills.
He was also a member of the Kannapolis Rotary Club.
After Max died 19 years ago, his wife never forgot that commitment.
Ken Argo, the club’s Rotary Foundation chairman, said Thomason has continued to send in annual contributions to the charitable outreach, just as her late husband had done.
Saturday, Kannapolis Rotary honored her generosity by naming her a Paul Harris Fellow.
Argo worked with Max Thomason at Cannon Mills and helped coordinate the effort to honor his wife for her continued support.
Named for one of the founders of Rotary, the award honors those who contribute to the Rotary Foundation’s charitable efforts.
Those include a massive campaign to eradicate polio worldwide, as well as efforts to provide food, drinking water, housing and vaccinations in impoverished countries.
Tom Kincaid, a Kannapolis City Council member and past president of Rotary, said that in the 15 years he’s been a member of the Kannapolis club, he’s felt honored by Thomason’s quiet service.
He traveled with four other Rotarians
Her children said they’re humbled by how both their mother and father were honored.
“With Mother’s birthday coming up, I’ve gone back to memory lane,” daughter Billie Max Reid of Myrtle Beach said.
Max was a Salisbury native and graduate of Boyden High School.
He was an officer in the U.S. Army Reserve, volunteering the day after Pearl Harbor, she said.
When he returned to Kannapolis and to work at Cannon Mills, he joined the Rotary club.
“Rotary was always really important to Dad,” she said. “He hardly missed a meeting. He felt like it was a wonderful organization that did a lot of good.”
Reid said her father remained active until he could no longer take part due to his battle with Parkinson’s disease.
Saturday, with friends and loved ones applauding, she was presented the Paul Harris certificate and pin.
“We believe that her life exemplifies the humanitarian objectives of Rotary,” Kincaid said.
Club President-Elect Deb Carter presented a gold pin that is part of the award.
“When you wear this, wear it with pride and know that Kannapolis Rotary honors you,” Carter said.
Her son, Max Thomason Jr. of Charlotte, said he’d known his mother still gave to charity, but was humbled by her commitment and by the honor she received.
For her part, Billie said she was surprised and joyful.
“I’m very touched,” she said. “This is such an honor.”
Argo said that the quiet efforts of club members and those like Billie Thomason strengthen the organization and make it possible to do good in the lives of others.
“It’s humbling to be here and be able to honor her,” Argo said.
Contact Hugh Fisher via the editor’s desk at 704-797-4244.

Comments

Comments closed.

Ask Us

Ask Us: When will North Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue be resurfaced?

Local

Political Notebook: Rowan’s lawmakers pass 140 bills into the opposite chamber before deadline

Local

Police chief to present use of force policy; city manager to present 2021-22 budget

Crime

Botter: Rockwell man arrested on charges of felony larceny, possession of stolen vehicle

Coronavirus

CDC director says mask turnaround based solely on science

News

Catawba College hosts three in-person commencement ceremonies

Local

With high case loads causing numerous staff departures, Child Protective Services seeks more positions

Education

Livingstone College graduates celebrate ‘crossing the finish line’ during commencement celebration

Coronavirus

Rowan sees 4 new COVID-19 deaths as mask mandate lifted, vaccines administered continue decline

Local

Spencer is latest town updating its development ordinance

Local

Salisbury native Kristy Woodson Harvey makes NY Times bestseller list

Local

Board of Commissioners will convene for third time in May

Business

Biz Roundup: Salisbury, Kannapolis among recipients of Region of Excellence Awards

Local

Cheerleading team competes at Disney

Education

Salisbury High to celebrate football, swimming champions with parade

High School

High school girls soccer: Isley, Webb lead all-county team

Local

Spencer awarded $10,000 to develop trails at Stanback Forest

Books

‘Tails and Tales’ coming to library this summer

Local

Public Records: March Deeds

Entertainment

Salisbury Symphony’s ‘Return to the Concert Hall’ available May 24-31

Coronavirus

Salisbury teen becomes one of first in age group to receive COVID-19 vaccine

Business

Local farm and creamery poised to add goat yoga, artisan goat cheese to offerings

Local

Pandemic’s impact, uncertainty of transit funding prompt request to eliminate Rowan Express service

Lifestyle

New Waterworks’ exhibit opens June 1