Blayne Thomas will be remembered not only for his public service in Clovis but as a family man, a youth volunteer and a soloist with his church.
"He wrapped his arms around those that needed to be uplifted, encouraged and validated," said Jan Thomas, his wife of 55 years. "I was so fortunate to meet and marry him."
Mr. Thomas, 80, died May 12 from pulmonary fibrosis. He leaves behind his wife, three children, Brad, Brian and Becky, six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Born in San Pedro in 1932, Mr. Thomas was an ardent Mormon and even served as a bishop and two years as president of the Fresno Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He enlisted for two years in the Army during the Korean War at 18 and later served four years in the Navy.
He studied speech and history at the University of California at Los Angeles and later at Fresno State.
Mr. Thomas began in management with Travelers and Hartford Insurance Companies and eventually opened Blayne Thomas Insurance in 1963.
In 1966, he was elected to the Clovis City Council and served one term. He ran for the Board of Supervisors in 1968 and in 1970 but was not elected.
Mr. Thomas started the city's first recreation department. He served as a supervisor at the Fresno County Juvenile Hall, as a Scoutmaster and a Cub Scoutmaster.
Jan Thomas said that she will greatly miss her husband, "but I know he is in a better place."