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Members of the Niceville Fire Department visited Sawyerville, Alabama to pay their last respects to former Niceville City Councilman William McArthur Thomas, who died April 4th. He was 70 years old.

Niceville Fire Department Chief Tommy Mayville led the delegation to the north Alabama town where Thomas was born.

“He was one of the most active councilmen that we had on the council,“ Chief Mayville remembered.

Thomas was a Niceville City Councilmember for six years, served for 24 years in the United States Air Force and Served as a Deputy Sheriff for a decade in the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office. During his time as a deputy, he became the first school resource officer at Lewis Middle School in Valparaiso. In addition, he served for a time as the president of the All Sports Association of Okaloosa County. After his time on the council, Thomas moved back to Sawyerville and helped better the city near Tuscaloosa.

“He was a special person. He did a lot, not only for Niceville but for Okaloosa County,” Mayville remembered. “He was involved in about everything he could get himself in. [He was] a special person.”

In his memorial pamphlet, Thomas was remembered as a “Faithful member of Valley View Baptist who loved the Lord and didn’t mind telling everyone about it. He enjoyed making a difference in the community, which is displayed in his and his wife’s founding of Thomas Helping Hand, his 501(c)3 Nonprofit. Most Importantly, William loved his family dearly and shared close relationships with all his eight brothers and seven sisters.”

Thomas is buried at Evans Cemetery in Sawyerville, Alabama.

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