R. Kermon Thomasson passed away at his home in Martinsville, Va., July 12, 2021, as a result of a major stroke. Born February 6, 1936, he was the son of the late Posie and Ruth (Draper) Thomasson, and he was quite proud of his Henry County origins. The majority of his life was spent in serving the Church of the Brethren as a missionary and denominational leader.
Kermon’s first five years of education took place in a one-room school in Figsboro, Va. Later, in 1954, he graduated from John D. Bassett High School, then received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Education from Bridgewater College in 1958. Following graduation, he taught two years of high school in Manassas, Va., then he entered Brethren Volunteer Service and was assigned to teach in the Brethren-sponsored school in Waka, Nigeria. He remained in Nigeria for thirteen years as a missionary and teacher. He taught history, geography and English.
Kermon is survived by his wife, Margaret (Wampler) Thomasson, one son, Galen and wife, Holly (Williams) Thomasson, grandson Levi, and granddaughter, Heidi. He is also survived by a sister, Ellen Thomasson; two brothers-in-law, J. Paul Wampler of Bridgewater, Va., and Guy E. Wampler, Jr., Lititz, Pa., and by seven nieces, one nephew, five great nieces and nephews, three great-great nephews and one great-great niece. Two other sisters, Mavis Rice and Carlene Blankenship, preceded him in death.
Following his missionary service in Nigeria, Kermon returned to the United States and began a long tenure on the staff of the Church of the Brethren, headquartered in Elgin, Illinois. He served as a writer and illustrator for Brethren publications, exhibits and books, until he became editor of the denominational magazine, MESSENGER. His tenure on the denominational staff spanned from 1974 until 1998 when he retired to live at his parental homeplace in Henry County, a Southern style home affectionately known as “Old Shady Grove.”
Kermon’s smile and sense of humor endeared him to his many friends and family. It was always a pleasure to receive a card or letter from him, for not only would your address be lettered with beautiful calligraphy, but his anecdotes about his activities and news were skillfully laced with artful descriptions, making the prose flow with anticipation and amusement.
A memorial service is planned for Monday, July 19, 11:00 a.m. at Collins-McKee-Stone Funeral Home on Broad Street in Martinsville. The family will receive guests at 10:00 a.m. as well as at the conclusion of the service. Memorial gifts may be sent to Brethren Volunteer Service, 1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120.
Arrangements are by McKee-Stone Funeral Home-Martinsville, VA