Paul Franklin Thomas, a former football and track coach at Palisades High School, died peacefully at his home on the morning of December 24. He was 76. Born on November 9, 1927, to Dr. Herman Thomas and Florence Duncan in Blythe, California, Paul moved to Los Angeles where he attended University High School. He served in the Army during the end of World War II and returned awarded. After earning his undergraduate degree and teaching credentials from Cal State Los Angeles, Paul worked as a physical therapist and swimming coach at Kaiser Hospital. In 1962, he moved his wife and children to Pacific Palisades and began teaching at PaliHi in 1964. One of the school’s original faculty members, he coached football and track there until 1980. For years after retiring, Paul continued to enjoy his favorite pastime: playing volleyball on the beach near his home. He had met his wife of 51 years, Fleeta Joann Thomas, at Sorrento Beach in Santa Monica, just a few miles from where they ended up making their home. Paul was a selfless man who will be remembered in the highest regard by the many friends he made and the students he taught. All will miss him. In addition to his wife Joann, he is survived by his three children, Scott, Jon and Kelly, and three grandchildren, Brendan, Courtney and Morgan. Paul was buried on December 30 in a private ceremony at Woodlawn Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, a memorial donation to one’s favorite charity is suggested.
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