WOAY President passes away

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OAK HILL, WV (TYREE FUNERAL HOME) – Robert “Robbie” Russell Thomas, III of Beckley, WV died suddenly on Wednesday, November 23, 2016 at Appalachian Regional Hospital in Beckley.

Born April 23, 1950, in Oak Hill, he was the son of the late Robert R. Thomas, Jr. and Helen Grose Thomas.

Robbie was President of WOAY-TV in Oak Hill. He began his broadcasting career operating the camera at Saturday Night Wrestling in the WOAY studio. Robbie led the company through many transitions over several decades. He loved golf, was an avid Mountaineers fan, and a travel enthusiast. Nothing made Robbie happier than being surrounded by family and friends, especially while cruising. Those who knew Robbie loved his generous heart, his dry sense of humor, and his appreciation for a good practical joke. Robbie strongly believed in giving back to others and was a longtime supporter of several charitable causes in the community.

Survivors include one daughter, Robin Thomas DiBartolomeo, of Beckley, and her husband Jay; sisters, Sara Thomas of Oak Hill, Barbara Canterbury of Mt. Hope, and Leah Thomas of Oak Hill; brother, John Thomas of Miramar, FL; two grandchildren, Gerald Anthony DiBartolomeo, IV and Russell Thomas DiBartolomeo; uncle, Joseph Thomas of Pasadena, California; William Berry, Chris Berry, Robert Berry, Deloras Bobbitt, and other beloved cousins.

Funeral services will be Tuesday, November 29, 2016 at 11:00 A.M. at Tyree Funeral Home in Oak Hill with the Rev. Paul Wharton officiating. Burial will follow at High Lawn Memorial Park, Oak Hill.

Visitation will be held at Tyree Funeral Home, Oak Hill, on Monday, November 28, 2016 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM.

Pallbearers will be John Thomas, Jay DiBartolomeo, Chris Berry, Rob Berry, Rick Cornett, and Dennis Adkins.

Memorial donations may be made to the United Way of Southern West Virginia.

Online condolences may be sent at www.tyreefuneralhome.com

Arrangements are made by Tyree Funeral Home, Oak Hill, WV

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