Norman Lee Thomas, 59, of Billings, passed away May 11, 2020, one day shy of his 60th birthday. Norm was born in Chattanooga, TN, to Paul and Mary (Sivley) Thomas on May 12, 1960. Norm’s father served in the USAF, which took their family all over the world. The majority of his upbringing was at Travis Air Force Base in Northern California. He graduated from Vacaville High School in 1978, and was known on the track as the White Streak of Light or White Lightning, being one of the fastest track stars to graduate from Vacaville High School. Norm still holds a school record for the 400 Meter with a time of 51.7 seconds.
Following high school, he joined the Marine Corp, and was proud to serve his country for ten years. During his time in the Marines, he also took college courses in Southern California. Norm was a Motor Transportation Mechanic and served overseas on multiple occasions. He was honorably discharged in 1987.
While serving in Okinawa, Japan he met a fellow Marine, Dee Badura, and they married in Okinawa in 1983. Once discharged from the Marines, they moved to Southern California where he worked on the Marine Corp Base, Camp Pendleton, serving as a mechanic. Together they had four boys; Paul, Eric, Christian, and Jordan. The family moved to Dee’s hometown of Billings in 1999 where Norm worked for NAPA Auto Parts until he retired in 2016. Norm experienced many health issues in his life, resulting in a bilateral leg amputation. His home was modified to accommodate his wheelchair and he maintained a positive attitude, the best he could.
His children will remember him as a great dad, a fierce competitor, and a hard worker. He was a good provider to his wife and children and a funny guy, always providing a great laugh or joke!
He will be missed by his wife “Dee” Thomas of Billings; sons Paul (Aimee) Thomas of CA (grandchildren Josephine and Sabastian), Eric (Ileta) Thomas of Glendive, Christian Thomas of Billings, and Jordan (Kenzie Reynolds) Thomas of Billings (grandchildren Jaylee and Jayden (Kenzie’s girls) and Kalel (Koryn and Jordan’s son); brother Ted Thomas of Billings and his children Kyle Lee Reece Thomas, Cameron Lee Cole Thomas, Christopher Lee Thomas; and sister Norma Lynn Shaver of TN. Norm was preceded in death by his parents.
A private family service will take place for Norman Lee Thomas on Monday, May 18, 2020 at Yellowstone National Cemetery. Due to gathering restrictions, Military Honors will take place at a later date.