woogiethomas
Woogie Thomas, a 32 year resident of Hollywood, Venice Beach and the South Bay, passed away on Wednesday, April 4, 2012 in Hollywood, CA. Born in Jamaica, NY and raised in Hallandale Beach, FL, Woogie was 58 when he died. He attended South Broward High School, Hollywood, FL Class of '74, completed Motion Picture Production Technical Training and obtained Certification in that field. Woogie's first job was as a paper boy in Hallandale Beach, FL, then in his late teens, as a lifeguard at Hollywood Beach, FL. Also, while in his teens and early 20's he worked as an accomplished groom tending thoroughbred horses for renowned horse trainers Howie Tesher of Florida and New York, and the late Eddie Gregson of California. Woogie began his career in the entertainment business as a stagehand with two legendary R and B entertainers, and progressed to working on many notable feature films, television shows, commercials, public service announcements, live concerts, and music videos of every genre as a grip and set lighting technician, especially Rock & Roll and Rap music videos. He recently taught Grip classes at Hollywood Cinema Production/West L.A. College. He worked in the entertainment industry for 30 years. He was a member of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, I.A.T.S.E Local 80 Motion Picture Studio Grips, and I.A.T.S.E. Local 728 Studio Electrical Lighting Technicians. Woogie enjoyed going to the beach, playing golf, lap swimming, playing dominoes, listening to music, and going to see his favorite artists in concert, especially Prince and Michael Jackson. He was a fan of the Lakers, Dodgers, thoroughbred horse racing, golf, and sports in general, especially basketball, baseball, football and ESPN. He volunteered time to mentor young people interested in the film business, speaking at local high schools and technical schools. Woogie had a great desire to maintain contacts and nurture his relationships with people as far back as elementary school and from his childhood neighborhood, as well as the numerous people in the entertainment industry, whom he met and developed friendships with while working throughout the United States. He particularly enjoyed encouraging those who were experiencing serious difficulties in their life, especially cancer survivors. Woogie maintained contact with a lot of his South Broward High School classmates, where he was Senior Class President, and attended their reunions. He regularly called, visited and encouraged dozens of people on a monthly basis, of all ages from all walks of life. Woogie was very devoted to his three godchildren, Cheyenne Rodgers, Robert Rodgers, Jr. and Hunter Rodgers of Inglewood, CA. Woogie is survived by his wife of 23 years, Shirley Petite Thomas of Hollywood, CA; four siblings, Howard Hall of Waycross, GA, Rev. Glenette Wilcher, Deborah Thomas, and "Charles" Chad Thomas of Fort Lauderdale, FL; and his nieces and nephews, Kenneth Hall, Jr., Taylor Hall, Herman Wilcher, Jermaine Thomas, Jakari "Larrod" Thomas, Crystal Thomas, Brittney Thomas, Ashley Thomas and Charles "Little Chad" Thomas. He was preceded in death by his parents, James and Frances Thomas; a devoted grandmother who raised him, Mrs. Bertha "Miss Bert" Ford, and two siblings, Kenneth Hall and Rev. Morris Elmore. Woogie's church affiliation was at First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood in Hollywood, CA, where he was a worshipper for 23 years. The Memorial Service will be held at Redondo Beach just south of the Pier on Sunday April 22, 2012 at 3pm. A Reception will be held at the Elks Lodge, 315 Esplanade, Redondo Beach, 90277 from 4 to 6pm. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to, Shirley Petite Thomas, P.O. Box 237, Hollywood, CA 90078.

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  1. Dear Shirley: We are devastated. You and Woogie are family to us and we are there with you in prayer and hearts. Our tears fall with yours. Love – Sandi and Kenny

  2. Woogie was always such a smiling face & a sweet spirit. I will always remember Him from our high school days. You & your family are in my prayers! God Bless!

  3. Dear Shirley, We want to share our sympathy to you and the family. Woogie was a shining star and vibrant and his candle went out too soon. Our shock and sorrow cannot begin to match yours but know we love you and wish you peace in knowing he is with our Lord and Jesus. xoxox Wayne, Dianne, Jack and Paul

  4. Dearest Shirley, I can’t imagine Woogie being gone. He was full of love and compassion- always had kind words of inspiration, and a laughter that would light up a room. The Love of your life will be watching over you from heaven. We will miss him and never forget him. My heart is so sad. Thank God for Jesus, go in his strengh. Love You, Pauline and Rob

  5. My deepest sympathy goes out to you Shirley in this time of loss. Words cannot express the void you must be experiencing. Woogie will be missed by many, we are at a loss of a brother and compatriot. May the Lord bless & strengthen you.

  6. Shirley, Words cannot convey how I truly feel, I’ve known Woogie since I was a kid and he has been like a big brother to me. Woogie always had a smile and kind words, he was always encouraging with an attitude unlike any other! He would always say “life is beautiful”! The other thing Woogie always made clear was how much he loved and adored you Shirley! Well big brother it’s hard for me to imagine my world without you, although I know you’re in a better place. I will always miss you and love you! Laura B.

  7. Dear Shirley, Woogie was a rare treasure who was priceless. We loved Woogie (and Shirley) since we have known them both. Woogie was so kind and considerate with so much compassion that when he said: “life is beautiful” it would lift us in a spiritual way. We will miss Woogie for the rest of our lives. May he rest in peace. A truly good man. Much love to YOU Shirley. Audrey & Sol

  8. My prayers are with Shirley & Woogie’s family during this difficult time. May God continue to shower you with his unconditional love & mercy and may you find solace in knowing that he is now home with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

  9. So glad to have gotten to see you last summer, Woog! You have been such an important figure in my life and a great ” brother”. You will be missed, but I will retain fond memories of all the times we have shared. RIP, bro!

  10. We are already missing him terribly. I had some news I wanted to share yesterday. We felt so sad that we couldn’t just call Woogie and say, “Peace!”

  11. Our Mom used to have these motivational/inspirational sayings around the house, I am sure many of our friends remember. One in particular that she had really fit’s Woogie perfectly: ♥~*~ “When you were born you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life in a way so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice” ~*~♥ As the days go on there are so many of us all over the country from coast to coast, crying. All of us having been blessed to have this one person connecting all our lives. Woogie was like that. Shirley is like that. My prayer is that the collective energy from all our tears reach and surround Shirley and the whole family with love & peace.♥ All our love & prayers, Susan & Randy Preston & Tracie & Lisa

  12. No words can express the sorrow we all feel. Woogie was a beautiful soul. A long time friend who will be truly missed. I feel honored that he touched a part of my world. May PEACE be with you! Love Sue & Family

  13. Woogie was a great human being in all respects. He will be missed immensely by all who knew him. I fondly remember his phone calls, cross country from CA to NH, out of the blue just to say hi. Woogie defined our SBHS Class ’74. RIP “my brother”. Shirley – our thoughts are with you in this time of loss. Always – Mike and Betsy

  14. Hello Shirley, Our life is a journey that never end. We will all one day be with our Father. May God be with you and your family. Joy

  15. Shirley & Woogie, You are the best God Parents in the world to our kids. Woogie you will be greatly missed by our family, but we will see you again. I know you are smiling down on us with that great big smile you always have. Keep smiling because when we think of you we will keep smiling. Love your God Family, The Rodgers

  16. Woogie floated into our family when I was only 7 or 8. The moment I’d heard that Woogie had passed away, a long ago memory surfaced & I heard his words of encouragement as clearly as if he were standing beside me once again. Through new tears Woogie managed to bring a smile to my face yet again. He was a friend, a counselor, a confidant & a brother. Woogie always treated me as if I was a star in his world long before he moved to a world of stars. Though I’ll never get to thank him in person for his encouraging words of so very long ago, it matters not because I think Woogie always knew how his words encouraged me to grow into who I am today. Shirley, the blessing that Woogie was in life and is in spirit multiplied when you came into his life. Thank you for so selflessly sharing my brother & my friend. May the love of God surround you; May the light of God enfold you. You are always in my thoughts & prayers. Love & light, Kip

  17. Dear Shirley, I wish that I weren’t so far away. Woogie meant so very much to our family. His thoughtfulness, kindness, encouragement, and love for the children will always be remembered.

  18. Woogie truly had a major impact on my life and seeing both him and Shirley together made me realize what a marriage should look like.

  19. Dear Shirley – Sorrow does not last forever, but memories do…and so does love. Our family is thinking of you and wishing you comfort at this time of loss. We are so sorry to hear of Woogie’s passing.

  20. Woogie & Shirley, Words honestly cannot express how hurt I am right now to have to be writing this. Away at college & not being able to say goodbye hurt me so bad, but I know Woogie would not want me to be sad. I am going to be happy because he is watching over me, pain free ! Woogie, I love you more than words can ever express and I will miss you. All of our trips to the beach and the zoo will forever stay with me. Shirley, I pray every night that you stay strong and that you know EVERYONE loves you & that we are all here for you. I have the world’s GREATEST God parents and it will forever remain that way. Shirley & Woogie, I love you two with all my heart <3

  21. Woogie was a once in a lifetime individual. He made everyone around him laugh. The world was better for his having been here. We will miss him.

  22. Woogie truly was one of a kind. Always happy. Always upbeat. He will live in my memory and heart forever. Rest in peace Woog.

  23. Shirley, my deepest condolences for the loss of your wonderful husband and my dear friend. The world without Woogie just isn’t as good. I’ll never forget his deep loud voice and his great sense of humor. I’ll always remember the fun times we had together. In particular, I’ll never forget the 1983 US Festival we were part of for three days where I never laughed harder in my life thanks to Woogie. Peace out my brother.

  24. Life is Beautiful…because of Woogie being in it. Life will still be beautiful. Woogie was a priceless treasure who gave anyone who had the privilege to know him a gift of love. He still makes us feel that there is a value to the words Love, appreciation, care, consideration and compassion. He showed all of this to us. Till our dying day he will be part of our lives. Audrey & Sol Block

  25. Woogie, you raised up everyone who was ever in your presence. We were honored to know you and to be considered your friends. Our whole family will miss you!

  26. What a wonderful full life Woogie led. Whenever we saw him he had a smile on his face – always! Shirley we know you took good care of him. He left us way too soon but he had an accomplished career, a loving wife, friends, family & just plain happiness. RIP up there Woogie.

  27. TO MY BIG BROTHER TO WHOM I TRULY WILL MISS. I LOVE YOU AND MISS YOU. YOU ARE ALWAYS IN MY HEART.WHEN YOU GET TO HEAVEN SAID HELLO TO THE REST OF THE FAMILY. FOREVER LOVED YOUR LITTLE SISTER.

  28. Shirley allow us to offer our greatest sympathy and condolences to you and your family. Woogie was first and foremost a great and lovable human being. He was fun to be around and to hear his booming laugh was contagious. He was a solid friend and excellent co-worker. He will truly be missed. I love him and you.

  29. Woogie had a contagious smile and generous spirit that warmly welcomed me every time I came out to visit Hollywood. I will sure miss that! I know my memory of him will join the hundreds of others’ memories to keep him right here in our hearts. My condelences to Shirley and the rest of his family.

  30. Dear Shirley, I’m sorry to hear that your beloved husband, Woogie, passed away. I pray that God will comfort you at this sad time. Love, Angie

  31. Woggie (Big Brother) Thomas I will always carry your message through out the rest of my life and in hopes others get it as well… I will always keep dear to me the conversations you and I have shared, the laughs and also the hard times… You always brought me joy whenever I’d see your name pop up on the phone, I knew then I was to learn something… Even if it was to just say “hey”, I’m on the journey now with you in my spirit I love you my friend, my brother…

  32. Woogie you were always so full of joy and laughter, your smile brightened up any day. My deepest sympathies for your family and Shirley my thoughts and prayers are with you. It was such a pleasure knowing you Woogie! We love you always Woogie and Shirley 🙂 The Smith Family Xavier Sr., Kim, Chase & Xavier Jr.

  33. God bless you Woogie, I have fond memories of you at South Broward. Wishing you and your family my most sincere condolences.

  34. Shirley, My heart breaks for your loss. Woogie was a true friend, lifted my spirits through tough times, always had words of wisdom and cheer, encouraged me in times of need. you have both shared your home and your friendship now for about 23 years. Great memories and good times to be remembered by both Stephanie and me. We love you lots and send our prayers to you for peace in knowing he is in Gods hands now. Gail & Stephanie

  35. I appreciated your professionalism and your respect. Thank you for being such an inspiration,Woogie. My condolences to your family.

  36. the memories are many. the condolences are heartbreaking. the man was pure LOVE. it was time for him to go home. shirley, the 2 of you were sooooooo lucky to have found one another.

  37. Shirley, I am so sorry for your loss. Woogie was always such a gentleman. I feel it was an honor to know him and attend High School with him. God Bless you. Sincerely, Margaret Norrie Canosa

  38. I can only say; Man i will really miss you daddy-O your friendship will always be very dear to me !!!! A FRIEND ALWAYS ANDRE

  39. I loved Woogie. He was a lot of fun. I will miss you “my man”. Woogie was one of a kind. To the family, this is a difficult time in our lives and during this time of lost. Be encouraged. My prayers are with you.

  40. To the family of Woogie Thomas. I have worked with Woogie on several projects over the years and he was always a pleasure and a friendly face on every job. He made me laugh and made me smile, and when the hours get long you really need that. He will be sorely missed. My prayers go out to his family. GOD Bless!

  41. Shirley, I will always remember his humor and laugh,God bless you my sister and my sincere sympathy. You are in my prayers. LOVE IN CHRIST ALWAYS. Veronica

  42. Jack,Nichole,Thomas and I love Woogie and will miss him deeply because of his warmth,smile and encouragement. His influence and desire to help others will continue. Shirley was and will continue to be well loved. And you can count on us to continue to be there with you.

  43. Dear Shirley, I can’t begin to tell you how sorry I am for your loss. Please have comfort in knowing that Woogie was loved by many, many people who lives were touched by his friendship and love. I am proud to say I was one of his friends from high school. RIP Woogie

  44. Dear Shirley, My Deepest Sympathy in so great your loss, Woogie will be dearly missed by all of us who knew him. Stay Strong in the Lord! Jennifer

  45. Woogie was a great person and will be missed by all. Just the mention of his name brought a smile to peoples faces

  46. Dear Aunt Shirley, The world has lost a GREAT person in Woogie. The two of you will ALWAYS be in my prayers.

  47. Dear Shirley, my heartfelt condolences are lifted to you for the loss of Woogie. The smiles and laughter that he generated in all who knew him are definitely interwoven on his path to heaven. He was my laughing buddy. I will miss him…..

  48. So many wonderful memories! You know our home is still a place of refuge. Come or call anytime! Lets do that Woogie thing together. He will be missed but never forgotten!

  49. I am really saddened by the early departure of such a wonderful soul I always enjoyed the warmth he brought into the room and his infectious smile ! Woogie, you will be missed…

  50. I will never forget you my friend. I will miss your phone calls, your encouraging words and your uplifting spirit. When I had my medical difficulties, you called and said to never give up and every word meant so much. Peace Big Daddy!!

  51. Dear Shirley, My deepest sympathies and prayers are with you through such a profound loss. I want you to know that I was so touched by what a dynamic couple you made and what a sweet, hard-working and truly gentle man I saw in Woogie.

  52. MAY GOD LOVE AND PEACE SURROUND WOGGIE’S FAMILY IN THE LOSS OF THEIR CHERISHED FAMILY MEMBER. SOUTH BROWARD HIGH 1974

  53. I should have said in the living years; “Woogie, thanks for being the free spirit you were. You were one of the people that helped me get through a sometimes difficult transition with great humor.” “Troll”

  54. REST IN PEACE my Brother. I grew up in the same neighborhood on 9th. Street in Hallandale. I remember “Woogie” but so many of my goons had gone and left me to carry the hometown on and on…..

  55. shirley im so sorry for ur loss,im joe sister and very good friend of woogies,i too went to school and grew up with woogie in hallandale,i believe u and woogie visited my bro in miramar. i lost contact with woogie when i changed phone carrier, again my condolances and prayers r with u my friend.

  56. shirley im so sorry for ur loss,im joe sister and very good friend of woogies,i too went to school and grew up with woogie in hallandale,i believe u and woogie visited my bro in miramar. i lost contact with woogie when i changed phone carrier, again my condolances and prayers r with u my friend.

  57. There are no words to truly express the sadness we feel since Woogie’s tragic passing. He was one of the most genuinely kind, happy, loving, upbeat person in the world; perhaps with the exception of his beautiful wife Shirley. His light shone so bright he could blind you with his love. Now that he’s gone there will be darkness for awhile, but all we have to do is remember him and there will be light. He was a beautiful person inside and out and it has been a pleasure to know him and be a part of the family. Shirley, please know that we are here for you if you need us–just call. In time the sorrow will be replaced by only loving memories. Take care of yourself Shirley and know you were loved deeply and that’s all we can hope for. Love always–Donna and Taylor

  58. There are no words to truly express the sadness we feel since Woogie’s tragic passing. He was one of the most genuinely kind, happy, loving, upbeat person in the world; perhaps with the exception of his beautiful wife Shirley. His light shone so bright he could blind you with his love. Now that he’s gone there will be darkness for awhile, but all we have to do is remember him and there will be light. He was a beautiful person inside and out and it has been a pleasure to know him and be a part of the family. Shirley, please know that we are here for you if you need us–just call. In time the sorrow will be replaced by only loving memories. Take care of yourself Shirley and know you were loved deeply and that’s all we can hope for. Love always–Donna and Taylor

  59. Woogie was an outstanding person. The people of Hallandale really loved him. He will be truly missed.

  60. May you rest in peace Woogie, you will be truly missed although, i haven’t seen you in years, your friendship last for a lifetime.

  61. Met Woog a million years ago but I always remembered him as a fun loving guy. Love to the family. I’m sure he’s missed.

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