Meet Nathan Thomas

Meet Nathan Thomas

Tuskegee Airman

He’s called Simpson House “Home” Since 2018 

Nathan O. Thomas arrived at Simpson House in 2018 after more than 80 years of a laudable life and career, serving the nation and the community that he loves. He was born in 1926 in Bridgeville, Delaware. Nathan was attending school at Delaware State University, when his education was interrupted by his induction into the military, specifically the United States Army. Nathan served in the military from 1945 to 1947, from the ages of 19 to 21. He was a pilot in Airforce Operations, a post he received due to his high scores on the military entrance exam. As World War II ended during his time in service, Nathan traveled throughout the United States in order to help the completion process conclude properly. He served in Aberdeen, Maryland; Sheppardfield, Texas, and Tuskegee, Alabama. It was in Alabama that he served in the famous 99th Pursuit Squadron under the command of Colonel Benjamin O. Davis. Nathan completed administrative work for the squadron and also brought important flight information to the other Tuskegee Airmen

Nathan returned to Delaware State following the completion of his military service. His first position after graduation from school was in Washington D.C. at the Department of Commerce. His next position was with the United States Postal Service in Philadelphia. After retiring from the USPS in 1981, he accepted a position as an administrative assistant with the school district of Philadelphia, where he was employed until his next retirement in 1987. Nathan considers working in education to be one of the greatest accomplishments of his life.

Nathan first became aware of Simpson House through his home church, James Memorial UMC. The church was an advocate and supporter of Simpson House and Nathan has been a member of the church since 1953. He is active with the United Methodist Men, is immediate past chairman of the Higher Education and Campus Ministry Committee, and is a former Sunday School teacher at the church.

One of Nathan’s favorite things about Simpson House is that the residents are always loving and supportive towards one another, in times of illness and healthiness. “There is a spirit of unity and fellowship at Simpson House,” he said fondly. Nathan offered some tips on how to age well: eat a balanced diet, have patience and a great attitude, and love life. After a long, full life, Nathan also has an abundance of wisdom to offer: “Education is the most important thing,” he said. “Give back, especially to the youth, and make sure people are responsible and caring. Keep on keeping on!”

Reflecting on his life, Nathan says his three happiest memories are marrying his wife, Lolia Tilghman Thomas with whom he has celebrated 64 years of marriage, the births of his children, and becoming a Tuskegee Airmen in the military. Nathan and Lolia have two daughters, one son, one son-in-law, three granddaughters, and four great-granddaughters.

After so many years of service and valor, Nathan understands what is truly important and now is able to enjoy being a part of the community he loves so dearly.

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