William O. Thomas Jr., a North Charleston resident and former Charleston County treasurer, died Friday. He was 85.
Thomas, a Democrat, became Charleston County treasurer in 1968. Thomas was 43 when took over as treasurer and served until 1992 when he was 68.
Thomas was born Dec. 20, 1924, to the late William Oliver Thomas and Farrie B. Horn Thomas. He attended public school in High Point, N.C., and graduated from the University of South Carolina.
In addition to 23 years of service to Charleston County, Thomas was active in community organizations. He was a member of the Hammerton Lodge #332, Scottish Rite and Omar Shrine Temples, the VFW Post #5091, the American Legion Post #147 and the North Charleston Exchange Club. He was also a life-long member of the Charleston Elks Lodge #242. Thomas also served as a Navy sailor in World War II.
Before becoming county treasurer, Thomas was a bank executive and cashier with the Port City Bank of North Charleston. He also worked real estate and insurance and was a salesman with W.C. Wilbur Co.
In 1980, Thomas won the Democratic nomination for House of Representatives but did not with the election. While working as a banker, Thomas was a candidate for the Charleston County Legislative Delegation in 1956.
Thomas was married to the late Sylvia Irma Thomas of Conway. They had three children: John R. Thomas of Charleston, Belinda T. Swinder of North Charleston and Susan T. Martin of North Charleston. Thomas had five grandchildren.
A funeral service will be held Tuesday at 2 p.m. at the Cooper River Baptist Church, where Thomas was a long-time member.