On Sunday, February 21, 2021 Donald P. Thomas known fondly to family and friends as Don passed away peacefully at University of Maryland Shore Medical Center in Easton, Maryland at the age of 73 years old. Donald was born in Easton, Maryland on December 6, 1947 to the late Philip and Ruth Thomas.
Donald received his education in Caroline County Maryland at Jonestown Elementary School in Preston Maryland and Lockerman High School in Denton, Maryland, where he was the graduate of the class of 1966. Donald joined the United States Airforce in 1966 and concluded his services with an honorable discharge on December 2, 1968. Between the years of 1968 and 1972, Donald worked a variety of occupations. In 1972, Donald was hired by the Chessie System Railroad as a Trackman. He was promoted within a year of working as an Equipment Operator. In 1973 he advanced within the company onto Assistant Foreman and later Railroad Foreman. In the year of 1976, Donald became Assistant Track Supervisor and was later promoted to the supervisor of over 40 track personnel in 1979. His involvement at Chessie System Railroad entailed supervision of: tie installation to ensure proper installation, rail anchors replacement, track surface maintenance, proper elevation onto curves, and ensured that all roadbeds were in accordance with railway and FRA standards. Donald joined the DOT/Federal Railroad Administration, Region 11 family as a Track Inspector (in Cleveland, Ohio) in July 1997. While assigned in Ohio, Donald was responsible for inspecting the track safety of approximately 3,154 miles of Class 1 through Class 5 railroad track in the states of Ohio and Pennsylvania.
During his career, Donald conducted OPERATION LIFERSAVER seminars for businesses, schools, and general public entities for railroad grade crossing safety. He also maintained Equal Employment Opportunity Counselor position within Region 11 from September 1989 through September 1996. He was responsible for maintenance of approximately 250 miles of railroad track and safety of trains operating thereon. Donald reviewed carrier records for compliance of inspections and proper remedial action. Also, he prepared and submitted track inspection reports, violations, interviews, and investigative reports to headquarters in a timely manner. He utilized skills and knowledge in major regional railroad assessments – Consolidated Rail Corporations, CSX and Norfolk – Southern Railway. Ultimately, Donald established excellent working relationships with between carriers officials and other railroad employees as well as exercised good judgement in carrying out his assigned duties throughout his career with the Federal Railroad Administration, Region 11 office.
Donald was a member of Mount Hope United Methodist Church. There he served as a member on the trustee board committee and as a member of the choir, Voices of Hope.
Donald was preceded in death by his Mother, Ruth Thomas and father Philip Thomas and brother James Bolden. To mourn and cherish his memory, Donald leaves a devoted wife Renaye Thomas; two daughters Mona Bausone (Louis) of Sandston, VA and LaDawn Richardson (Eeseh) of Stone Mountain, GA; 1 son Philip Thomas (Emilie) of Baltimore, MD; 2 grandsons Caleen and Sam Bausone of Sandston, VA; 2 grand-daughters Melisa Bausone of Sandston, VA and Eleanor Thomas of Baltimore, MD, three bonus children, Terell Jones of Salisbury, MD., Alwanda Jones of Atlanta, GA, and Allan Dortez Jones of Johnstown, PA; one special bonus grandson, Amri Jones of Preston, MD; seven additional bonus grandchildren; and a host of nieces, nephews, family, and friends, including his special friend, Albert Mouring Sr.
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