Cover photo for Frank "Buz" E. Thomas's Obituary
Frank "Buz" E. Thomas Profile Photo
1934 Frank 2024

Frank "Buz" E. Thomas

December 17, 1934 — February 22, 2024

Stuart, FL

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Frank E. Thomas of West Mifflin Borough (Bull Run), Pennsylvania, died on February 22, 2024, at the age of 89, but his ocean blue eyes, trademark storytelling, and quick wit will never be forgotten.

 

He was born on December 17, 1934, in Bull Run, in the very, same family house he would live out his days before becoming a snowbird and moving to Stuart, Florida. He was the only son of the late Frank A. Thomas and Leola Rushlander Thomas, and the loving younger brother to Faye Anne Thomas Will. His father and Uncles retired from U.S. Steel in Pittsburgh. His father insisted he not work at the mill, and so he followed his love for automotives.

 

Affectionately known as “Buz” or “Buzzy” by his family and friends, he was Ford Motor Company’s #1 Fan. He met his Father-in-Law, Richard “Dick” Douglas, of Glassport, while starting his career at Barron Ford, and would later fall in love with Dick’s oldest daughter, Patricia Ann Douglas. In the Summer of 1955, they would be married in Glassport at the Methodist church.  Buz would retire from Monongahela Ford in 2008, and begin part time as a Parts Delivery Driver for Day Toyota to make a few extra bucks driving every mile of highway and old farm roads from McKeesport to Punxsutawney.  He was a skilled carpenter, gardener, hunter, and fisherman. He enjoyed fishing with his daughters from the seaways of Canada to the mountains and lakes of West Virginia.

 

He was a horseman, raised around blacksmithing and a variety of horse breeds. He owned many horses and eventually a riding stable. His first horse at 8 years old was a Pinto named “Jeep,” which he sold for his first Ford. In his later years he enjoyed driving with family to visit their horses at the stables, Kentucky Derby parties and making bets on the Triple Crown.

 

His children and grandkids will remember the Indian Summers they spent with him up on the hill being pulled along the dirt path by their Pap and his tractor. Pap’s magical tales of the Bull Run cowboys & indians who lived on that hill, blackberry picking contests, and the endless requests to hear all the gory details on how their brave Father and Pap lost that right pointer finger while riding a bike in the 4th grade… will stay etched in their minds for the rest of time.

 

Buz loved family. He loved his wife, Pat. In his final moments he held her hand with the tightest, most loving grip and made certain she was taken care of. And he left his heart and all their memories in care of his daughters.

 

Buz was famously known for a good debate on Pittsburgh coaching, the state of the country and even how salmon patties should be made. He loved to reference the good ol’ days. He loved Bull Run and anything from Pittsburgh. And he was as American as apple pie and cowboys. Buz had an over-abundance of charisma, charm and comical story telling. Some of his favorite tales referenced the family’s Irish setter, “Sher’s Evening Blaze”, that stole his heart. We are certain that Blaze was awaiting his arrival along with all his other 4-legged friends, as he crossed into the Gates of Heaven.

 

He took extreme pride in his six grandchildren who affectionately called him “Pap”. In 2023, he and Pat moved to Florida where he would become the greatest hit for his four great grandchildren.

 

He loved fish sandwiches, dirty jokes, any dessert, popcorn and cowboy movies, and of course, the Steelers, Pirates, Penguins and Pitt college football. These days, in sunny Florida you could find him looking at his pictures, listening to music on YouTube and playing games on his iPhone in his favorite chair. He played nightly card games with the family and cussed when he was defeated, fed his lizards on the front porch, and organized his collection of pocketknives.

 

Regularly, he fondly reminisced about good friends, good laughs and good times had up at Benner’s Campground. Before moving to Florida, he would still meet his camping buds down at the Kennywood McDonald’s to relive their camping stories. He was a long-time member and held Past Master of the Masonic Temple of McKeesport, where under his leadership his wife frequently made the Members Sunday night dinner. He enjoyed humming away to Willie Nelson’s “Always on My Mind,” “Me and Bobby McGee, and “On the Road Again” while woodworking in his basement, sitting by a campfire at his trailer, playing cards with friends, sipping on Manischewitz Concord Grape wine with Don, or puttering around his garage fixing “steel horses”.

 

Also known as an Animal Whisperer, he communicated with the local red-tailed squirrels and all the birds in his yard and fed them seeds and peanuts, which he kept stocked in his sheds until he could no longer walk the hill on his own.

 

Buz took fashion advice from no one. His trademark suspenders and strategically combed hair left an impression with the ladies. Throughout the years, he had an affinity for pocketknives. And his last purchase was to complete his final pocketknife set, to which he left to his family.

 

In the last year, Buz’s weekly trips to dialysis were getting the best of him. Even in his waning months, he was a model of strength and sheer determination, right up until the end of his journey here on earth. He was very sick, but never, ever complained. He will be greatly missed and fondly remembered by family, friends, neighbors, and all the healthcare specialists who worked with him.

 

Even though he was feeling very tired he left his beautiful family with these words, “I want yinz to love one another. We got what we got. And let's make the most of it. Love one another.

Remember, you can't take nothing with you but your memories.”


Buz was employed in the automotive industry, specifically Ford Motor Company, since 1950.

In 1955, he married his wife, Pat, in Glassport at the Methodist church alongside friends, family and her now late parents, Richard “Dick” and Rhoda Douglas.

Buz is survived by his wife, Patricia Douglas Thomas; children, Sherrie and Gianni Crescini, of Stuart, Florida, and Amy Dallas, of West Mifflin Borough; grandchildren, Ashlee Jones, of Maitland, FL, Aubrey Campbell, of Jensen Beach, FL, Taylor and Megan Jones, of Stuart, FL, Deanna and Ben Rabinovitz, of West Mifflin Borough, Christopher Dallas, of West Mifflin Borough, and Gianni “GC” Crescini, of Stuart, FL; his great grandchildren, Kaylie and Zoie Jones, of Stuart, FL, and June and Otis Campbell of Jensen Beach, FL; and extended family, friends and furry companions.

Family and friends will gather from 2-4 PM and 6-8 PM on Thursday, February 29, 2024, and on Friday, March 1, 2024 at 10 AM at the GEORGE IRVIN GREEN FUNERAL HOME, 3511 MAIN ST., MUNHALL, PA, 15120, (412) 461-6394. Where a Masonic Service will take place on Thursday at 6:30 PM and a Funeral Service will take place on Friday morning at 11 AM with Rev. Michael Airgood officiating. Procession and burial at Jefferson Memorial Park is to follow. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in Frank's memory to the American Diabetes Association. Please leave your memories and condolences at www.georgeigreenfuneralhome.com.

To send flowers to the family in memory of Frank "Buz" E. Thomas, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Thursday, February 29, 2024

2:00 - 4:00 pm (Eastern time)

George Irvin Green Funeral Home

3511 Main St., Munhall, PA 15120

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Visitation

Thursday, February 29, 2024

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)

George Irvin Green Funeral Home

3511 Main St., Munhall, PA 15120

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Masonic Service

Thursday, February 29, 2024

6:30 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

George Irvin Green Funeral Home

3511 Main St., Munhall, PA 15120

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Visitation

Friday, March 1, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

George Irvin Green Funeral Home

3511 Main St., Munhall, PA 15120

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Funeral Service

Friday, March 1, 2024

11:00 - 11:45 am (Eastern time)

George Irvin Green Funeral Home

3511 Main St., Munhall, PA 15120

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