Norman Larue Thomas was born on Monday, February 15, 1943 to his loving parents, Dorothy Louise Johnson (Gant) and his stepfather, Tommie L. Gant. He moved in 1950 with his parents to Salt Lake City, Utah. Norman was given the nickname “Butch”.
Norman’s educational journey began at Lincoln Elementary and South High School both in Salt Lake City, Utah. He was a very poplar student who excelled academically. He converted to Catholicism at the young age of 14. His faith in God led him to participate in Amateur boxing where he acheived the Golden Gloves Boxing level for many years. In 1959 he won the Regional Championship in the Middleweight division at the age of 16. He obtained his Associate Degree at Community College of Southern Nevada where he was on the Dean’s list.
At the age of 19, he enlisted in the United States Army in Oakland, California on May 14, 1962. He served for three years and was honorably discharged. He received honors as a Marksman using Rifle M-14 and obtained his Parachutist Badge.
Norman also pursued over three decades in the Las Vegas Hotel Gaming and Administration Industry. He was employed by Harrah’s, Jolley Trolley, Cannery and Eastside Cannery. He was a dealer, and pit boss manager as his expertise led to his promotion to the administration. After many years in Las Vegas, he then relocated to Elizabeth, Indiana on the Caesars Riverboat. Credits were given to him for the developement and implementation of “Let It Ride” table game. Norman had a keen mastermind and entrepreneurial gifts which led him to numerour investments and he loved taking risks in real estate and other endeavors. He was the CEO and owner of Bottumline LLC Table Game.
Norman had a keen mastermind. Norman’s character was very straitforward. He would say, “I’m going underground” which we all knew and understood was code for “I will call, text, or email you when I want to and can do so.” He loved all generes of music. His two favorites were “Oldies” (he would listen to 88.1 FM all the time) and Gospel music (epecially for the messages in the songs.)
Norman loved the word of God; He was a faithful member of St. Paul AME Church in Corydon, Indiana. He was a part of the Men’s Ministry, Welcoming Committee and the BBQ ministry. During every church session, he loved to sit close to the door (as he said he came for the word). He would leave quickly as soon as service was over. Formerly, he was a member of Greater New Jerusalem under the leadership of Bishop Dr. James C. Rogers, Jr., Victory Baptist Church under the late Dr. Robert Fowler and New Bethel Baptist under leadership of Reverend Wesley, all in Las Vegas, Nevada.
With his four adult children: daughter, Hope Fletcher-Porter (Freddie Porter); son, Jimmy Melchor (Brandy Jamieson); son, Codi Fernandez; and daughter, Jasmine LeMay all of Las Vegas, Nevada. He also leaves 3 grandchildren, Detrick Sanford, Ronique Smith, Fredrick Porter and 7 great-grandchildren: Keloni and Khalaya Smith, Arianna and Nia Sanford, Paris and Naomi Malandonado and Khamila Porter, all of Las Vegas, Nevada. He also leaves behind his brother, Larry M. Gant, (Christiane), a nephew Justin Gant, niece Jacinda Gant and great-niece, Amari Edwards. He leaves behind sister Jackie of Atlanta, Georgia, Godsister, Delores Salters, of Salt Lake City, Utah. Delores will really miss talking to hime and Bad Nueez- his confidant four-legged friend for life.
Norman was preceded in death by his gorgeous mother, Dorothy L. Gant and his step-father, Tommie L. Gant. We salute you dad, You are free…Boots on the ground! Norman will be etched in our hearts.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Norman Larue Thomas, please visit our floral store.