Jesse A. Thomas Jr., 89, of Rose Valley, owner of Springfield Ford, died of leukemia Saturday at Lankenau Hospital in Wynnewood.
Mr. Thomas grew up in Portsmouth, Va. During World War II, he served in the Navy as a navigator on seaplanes in the South Pacific.
After his discharge, he earned a bachelor's degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He then was a certified public accountant for several local firms before becoming controller and general manager of Rice & Holman Ford in Cherry Hill in the early 1950s.
In 1972, Mr. Thomas bought Countryside Ford in Delaware County and renamed it Springfield Ford. He remained active with the dealership, now operated by his son James, until he was 80.
Mr. Thomas was a former director of the Pennsylvania Automobile Association and a member of several professional organizations and the Media Rotary Club. He also served on the Rose Valley Borough Council for more than 20 years.
He enjoyed boating and fishing at his vacation home in Beach Haven, N.J.
In addition to his son, Mr. Thomas is survived by his wife of 55 years, Dolores Shockey Thomas; another son, William; a brother; and five grandchildren.
A funeral will be held at noon tomorrow at Wallingford Presbyterian Church, 110 E. Brookhaven Rd., Wallingford, Pa. 19086. Burial will be in Edgewood Memorial Park, Glen Mills.