Sept. 13, 1927 — July 19, 2014
Camino resident Wallace Murrel Thomas passed away peacefully into the arms of the Lord at his home in the early morning hours of Saturday, July 19, 2014, at the age of 86. Wally was the former superintendent and a faculty member of the Camino Union School District, a local Apple Hill organic fruit grower, inspirational writer and longtime health enthusiast.
Born in Riverside, Calif., on Sept. 13, 1927, Wally graduated from San Bernardino High School in 1945 and began a gymnasium and fitness business in 1949. He married Marilyn Conforti in 1952 and in that same year was drafted into the U.S. Army during the Korean conflict and served until the completion of his military duty in 1955. In 1960, he graduated from Los Angeles State University with a bachelor’s degree in education and then a master’s degree in education in 1964.
In 1965, Wally and Marilyn moved with their family to Camino, Calif., where they purchased acreage in Apple Hill, growing both apples and pears. After teaching for one year at Edwin Markham Middle School in Placerville, he joined the teaching faculty at Camino in 1966. He became principal/superintendent at Camino in 1968 and returned to the classroom as an upper grades teacher in 1979 before retiring from education in 1996. He continued as an organic grower in Apple Hill until the time of his passing and supplied outlets in the Sacramento and Davis markets. He also authored an inspirational book on Christian doctrine titled “The Teachings of Jesus Christ in His Own Words” which has impacted the lives of many.
Wally is survived by his wife, Marilyn; four children, Tani Nauman, Tami McShane, Kenny Thomas and Terrie Sutton; eight grandchildren, Josh Reddin, Brandon Nauman, Daniel Sutton, Eric Sutton, Austin Sutton, Kylie McShane, Katy Thomas and Kloe Thomas; and two great-grandchildren, Cajmere Sutton and Jade Sutton.
A public memorial service will be held at 6:30 p.m., on Friday, Aug. 1, at the west gymnasium amphitheater on the Campus of Camino School located at 3060 Snows Road in Camino (95709). In lieu of flowers please make donations in Wally’s name to the Camino School Track Maintenance Fund by visiting the school office or mailing to the above address.