In Memory of




Obituary for Calvin Wilson Thomas

Calvin Wilson Thomas of Salem, Virginia passed peacefully into God’s hands on Saturday, February 5, 2022, at the age of 95. Although Calvin lived most of his life in Roanoke County, he lived his childhood in Salem, as the son of Wilton and Annie Thomas proprietors of Green Market in Salem and would want to be remembered as a Salem resident.
After schooling at Andrew Lewis High School in Salem, Calvin volunteered to serve his country during World War II, and did so in the U.S. Navy, as a crew member in combat on the USS Lyman (DE-302) in the Pacific Theatre, which received a total of five battle stars for her service during the war.
Following the war, he met and married Betty Jean Lee. Together, they made a wonderful life for his two children, Randall and Janet, in the County of Roanoke (“right next door to Salem”, as he often added).
The list of what anyone accomplishes over 95 years of life could constitute a respectable biography of any soul. What Calvin Thomas would want to be most remembered for can be captured in a simple sentence. “God, family, country,” in his own way, he served all three.
If forced to share his most cherished accomplishment, it would be his hard-earned success as the proprietor of the 2nd longest running corporation in the history of the City of Roanoke, Valley Motor Company, Inc. of Roanoke (measured in consecutive years as an incorporated entity).
But if asked to share his most cherished memory, it would be of his family. Typical of his generation, Calvin was not a talker. He did things. He let his actions speak for him, both as a Veteran of the Pacific Theatre, a business owner, a father, and a husband.
Surviving to cherish his memory are his son, Randall Thomas and wife, Diana, and Janet Yager and husband, Michael, granddaughter, Meghan.

All services for Mr. Thomas will be held privately with his family where he will be laid to rest beside his love, Betty, in Sherwood Memorial Park in Salem.

In lieu of flowers, consider making donations to the National D-Day Memorial, in Bedford,

Online condolences may be sent to the family at