American Speedway  

In Memory
R. I. P.

Bill Thomas

December 18, 1923 - March 14, 2007

Bill Thomas

Bill Thomas passed away on March 14th, 2007

Wilbur Floyd THOMAS - Passed away May 14, 2007 after a four year struggle with Alzheimer's disease. We wish to thank Sea View Care Home for their respectful and loving care of Uncle Bill. He is survived by his aunt Georgia Williams Talbot of Greenville, MS, niece Elaine Meade of Eureka, and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Bill Thomas was born in Green Valley, Sebastopol, where he was a lifelong resident. He served in the army in World War II from which he received an honorable discharge in 1945. He returned home and began a lifelong passion for motorcycles.

He raced bikes for over 50 years and was known as the world's oldest speedway racer and could be recognized by his blue leathers. Uncle Bill was a regular in all the bike shops in Sonoma County where he had many friends. "If you're not riding them, you're fixing them." Bill was also an avid Ham radio enthusiast and proudly wore his call sign on his belt buckle. After the war, Bill and Bob Thomas owned a logging company. Uncle Bill enjoyed working in the woods.

Later, Bill worked at Mare Island shipyard from which he retired in 1985. He was an electrician and could be relied on to work on everything from nuclear submarines to the neighbor's television. Burial will be private, in Green Valley cemetery, where he will rejoin his wife Rose and son James Davidson.
Published in the Press Democrat from 6/6/2007 - 6/7/2007.

Note: Bill quit speedway some 5 years ago, when he was in his late 70s, but was a regular Division 2 competitor at Fast Fridays and Sideways Saturdays for many years.

Editors Note: Although I did not know Bill very well, I always got a kick out of watching him race. I do not think I ever got a photo of him going sideways. He would three wheel into the corners every lap and because he was so fast down the straight it was a chore for the others to pass him. His battles with Harlan Bast Sr. were legendary. He will be missed by all of us. RC Jones

Hometown: Sebastopol, California, USA
Wife: widowed
Children: stepson Jim, aged 41
Occupation: Retired electrician
1997 Photo by: Gary Roberts

Bike: Jawa

Tracks Ridden:
USA: Fast Friday Speedway Auburn, Cal Expo Sacramento, Napa, Baylands, Woodland, Solano County Fairgrounds, Sports Arena Vallejo, Club Moto Speedway Livermore, Dixon, the San Francisco Cow Palace, Fort Bragg, Folsom, San Jose.

2001 - Fast Fridays Events May 25, Jun 8, Jul 6
2001 - Cal Expo Events Jun 30, Jul 14
2000 - Fast Fridays Events May 12, May 19, Jun 16
2000 - Cal Expo Events Jun 10
1999 - Fast Fridays Events May 14, May 28, Jun 11, Aug 6, Aug 13
1999 - Cal Expo Events May 15, May 22, Jun 12, Jul 17, Jul 24, Jul 31
1998 - Fast Fridays Events May 15, May 22, Jun 12, Jun 19, Jun 26, Jul 3, Aug 7
1998 - Cal Expo Events Jun 20, Jul 11, Jul 25
1998 - Livermore Events Aug 22, Oct 10
1997 - Fairgrounds Raceway Santa Maria Event Sep 22
1997 - Fast Fridays Events Jun 20, Jul 11

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