Lawrence Allen Thomas

lawrence  thomas
Lawrence Allen "Larry" Thomas passed away Thursday, January 6th in Fairfax, Virginia after a brief illness. The cause of death has not been determined.

He was a 1981 graduate of Laurel Park High School and a 1985 military honors graduate of Virginia Military Institute. Following in his father's footsteps, he served in the U.S. Army on active duty until 1994, including combat in Operation Desert Storm as a member of the 101st Airborne division, as well as assignments in Japan and Germany. He further served in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom with the 450th Civil Affairs Battalion (Airborne). He achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He was highly decorated, including two Bronze Stars.

Larry and his wife Debbie, of 22 years are employed by the U.S. State Department. Their assignments included postings in Istanbul and Dubai. He served in Baghdad in the Green Zone for a year.

Larry is survived by his loving children, Elizabeth and James; son of Josetta Harris Thomas and the late James L. "Bud" Thomas. He is also survived by three brothers and other extended family.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be sent to the Wounded Warrior Project,

Funeral Home:

Money & King Funeral Home

171 W. Maple Ave.

Vienna, VA

US 22180

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Memories Timeline


  1. I am so sorry to hear of Larry’s passing. My deepest and most heartfelt sympathies extend to Debbie, Larry’s children and the rest of his family and friends. I roomed with Larry at VMI during our 3rd class year – Room 327 included Larry, Eric, Rich, Alex, and myself. Larry always had a smile and a fantastic happy attitude – something I am sure he carried with him for the rest of his life. I never would have expected anyone so wonderful as Larry to pass on so early. Larry will be truly missed…. Sincerely, Todd Thornes VMI ’85

  2. I was shocked and saddened to hear of Larry’s passing. I enjoyed serving with this great soldier in the Army reserve and also was proud to be aware of his and Deb’s work at the State Department. RIP Larry. Best wishes and all my prayers for Deb and the family. – John Hillen

  3. Dear Debbie, Lizzie and James- I was so saddened to hear of Larry’s sudden passing. I cannot imagine how much he must be missed right now. He was an absolute hero and patriot. More than that he was a true friend and a devoted husband and father. The world has lost a great light. My family sends love and support and a donation to Wounded Warrior Project. We are keeping you in our thoughts and prayers.

  4. I sit here typing in disbelief. Larry was a quiet guy but when he spoke he spoke words that were right on the mark for any event. I met Larry in the sands of Saudia Arabia during Desert Shield with the 101st Airborne Division. The division had already deployed when I arrived as the ‘new guy’. Larry went out of his way to make me feel welcomed and a part of the Team……that just the way he was and I respected and admired him for that. A few years later while he was posted to Germany he and Deb drove to Frankfurt to pick up this young man and his dog and made the 4 hour trip back to Augsburg. As I looked for a place to live 3 hours away Deb and Larry cared for my dog. I’ll miss the conversations we all had and will miss him more than I can ever put into words. Rest in Peace Larry and I’ll see you on the high ground!!!!

  5. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family at your loss, from a member your VMI ’85 family in Texas. Peace be with you all.

  6. We are so sorry to hear this very sad news. Our hearts go out to you. We saw Larry summer of 2009 at Smith Mountain Lake. We really enjoyed his company & hearing about your travels. He talked about you and the children, he was a devoted husband and father; proud to serve his country. You will miss him more than we will know. God Bless You, Cathy & Alan Siegel

  7. So very sorry to hear of the passing of our brother rat Larry. May God watch over you the family and may Larry rest in peace. With sincere sympathy from New York, Jim Spellman, Office of the Attorney General, VMI’85

  8. Duke, I was saddened to hear of the passing of your brother, and for it to be so sudden is always shocking. Know that I have and will continue to pray for your family during this time of loss. Mike Knighten

  9. Debbie and children, I am so sorry for the loss of Larry. It has been some time since I saw him. I know You are very proud of his accomplishments and will miss him terribly. I can not imagine what You are going through at this time. May God Bless and keep You! David Jr(Josetta’s first cousin)

  10. My prayers to our Brother Rat’s family. It so saddens me to hear of fine young men passing before their time. May God bless, MEJ

  11. I was Larry’s roomate at VMI for several years. He was always a valued friend with a clever since of humor. He will be missed dearly.

  12. I’m so very sorry for your loss. He was a wonderful brother rat and roommate, and I will always remember our friendship.

  13. We were sadden to hear of the passing of Larry. We were neighbors for years. Larry and our son Mervin were close friends. We think of “Buddy” and the rest of the family often. You are in our prayers. Annette & Mervin Brown, Laurel Park Ave

  14. We are so sorry for your loss and our thoughts and prayers are with you all. Please know Debbie, Elizabeth and James that we would like to help you through this difficult time. Don’t hesitate to call on us at any time. Larry was a wonderful person.

  15. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends left behind. Larry was a man worthy of respect, love, and emulation. You will be missed, Sir.

  16. Dearest Jo and Family, I can’t imagine the pain of such a sudden loss. Know that you are in our prayers and thoughts. May the grace of God ease the pain in your hearts and strenghten the memories that you will carry with you always. With Heartfelt Regards, Robert & Judi Myers Christiansburg, Va.

  17. Debbie, Jo, and all of Larry’s family, I am so sorry about Larry passing. He was my best friend in high school, and I’ll always remember him as that. I have always admired his exceptional character; absolutely one of the best men I’ve ever known. I wish that we could have stayed in touch more over the years. I pray for peace and comfort for all of you. I’m very proud of his service to our country, and no doubt he made a positive impact on everyone who ever met him. My heart is hurting with you. Todd

  18. My condolences to Larry’s family. And deepest thanks to the Thomas family for their long and selfless service to our grateful Nation. As is said in some fraternal circles, “his ashes to the ground, his memory in our hearts, his soul to the heavens”. The VMI family and especially Larry’s Brother Rats of the Class of 1985 will remember him and all his contributions in this life. May God bless his family and provide comfort during this time of grief. In pace requiescat.

  19. You have my deepest sympathies on your loss. Brother Rat, you left us way too soon. Rest well, your journey here on earth is done. Until we meet again, Rest in Peace.

  20. We are sorry to hear of your loss and of the passing of another BR. Please acccept our heartfelt condolences.

  21. My thoughts and prayers go out to Larry’s family. Larry and I entered VMI in the late Summer of 1981 and we both called Henry County, VA home. “Brother Rat, you will be dearly missed.”

  22. We are deeply saddened to hear of your sudden loss. Our family will be praying Philippians 4:5-7 for your family. May God surround you with peace and strength as you face the days that are ahead. Thoughtfully, Kirby, Erin, Josh & Chelsea Caruso

  23. To The Thomas Family, I am truely at a loss for words. Josetta has always spoken of Larry so endearingly. She was so proud of Larry and all of you! May God Bless all of you during this difficult time. I am so deeply sorry. Caryn Lofgren-Froehlich (Josetta’s Late Cousin’s Daughter)

  24. My heartfelt condolences to Debbie and family. Larry was a role model, mentor and friend. He will be greatly missed.

  25. So many memories! Our tiny apartments in Germany, the birth of Elizabeth, lots of shared meals, that camping trip, EuroDisney, many tears at y’alls departure, Charlotte, Seattle, birthdays and barbeques, and visits when in from Dubai…..we will miss Larry very much.

  26. BR Larry Thank you for your brotherhood, service to your country, and touching so many lives. You are missed on earth but now you can really soar… in the Spirit. Jeff Ps. Ask God if he made Hokies for our entertainment… it sure seems like he did… RVM!

  27. Ronda and I are so sorry to hear the news about Larry’s passing. We wish to extend out sincerest condolences to Debbie and their children, Elizabeth and James. Larry and I served together in the 101st Airborne Division. I first met Larry when he was the S4, 311th MI BN, then served as his Assistant S2 in the 1-187th IN BN in the early 90s. Debbie and Larry would borrow our son to watch Disney movies in Clarksville. What a great American, devoted father, and loving husband. He will be missed!

  28. Although he would have been aghast at all of the attention (and likely peppered the proceedings with a self-deprecating remark or two), I think that todays memorial service captured Larry very nicely as a husband, father, and colleague. In terms of words or thoughts, theres probably precious little that those of us whom he left behind can offer to you at this point to assuage the wound left by his passing, but I do thank you for permitting all of us to be a part of the celebration of his life; in so doing, I hope that we can help preserve his memory, especially so that Elizabeth and James in later years will know their father for the man that he was. Konotabi wa goshuushousama de gozaimasu.

  29. Larry was a friend and fellow EE at VMI. We are deeply saddened to hear of his passing. Our thoughts and prayers go out to you.

  30. Debbie-Debbie, I was surprised and so sad to hear about Larry. It meant a lot to me when you all came to Charlotte last year. Talking to Larry was a real pleasure. I wish you and Elizabeth and James lots of strength for this unexpected change in your life. And condolences to all Larry’s family and friends.

  31. Our family’s thoughts and prayers are with you during this most difficult time.Larry’s smile, care for others and friendship made the world a better place.

  32. Over the years the bond forged at VMI remains a cherished part of our Institute. We got to be part of Larry’s life while at VMI and greatly appreciate his, indeed his entire family’s, service to our country. Larry is now with the Lord for an eternity and in passing his service continues as evidenced by the humbleness of donations to Wounded Warriors. Our prayers are with you.

  33. I worked for then Major Thomas during our deployment to Afghanistan 02-03, 450th CA. He was a strong leader, a great person, and I learned a great deal from him. I enjoyed the conversations we had when I was a world away from home. My deepest condolences to the loss of the Lawrence family.

  34. Posting on behalf of Debbie. Larry will be cremated and interred at Arlington National Cemetery’s columbarium on 7 April at 1500 hours (3 p.m.). People should arrive between 1415-1430 hours (2:15 – 2:30 p.m.) at the Administration building, and we’ll be escorted to the site. Larry will receive full military honors.

  35. Debbie, Elizabeth, James, While I never met you I wish to extend my sincerest sympathies to hear of Larry’s sudden passing. Larry and I were EE’s at VMI in the class of ’85. He spent his life serving both his family and country with honor. Something you will be proud of the rest of your lives. Larry, I appreciated your friendship at VMI. You will be very much missed. I will see you again someday. God Bless and rest in peace Brother Rat.

  36. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you Love Kris, Edie, and Brittany Lorenger (now currently in Dubai)

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