General Sales Manager for Hamilton Tools Inc. Charles Thomas, died on Dec. 24, 2001 ...

General Sales Manager for Hamilton Tools Inc. Charles "Charlie" Thomas, died from cancer on Dec. 24, 2001. He was born on March 7, 1937, in Oklahoma City.

Charlie attended college and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Oklahoma City University while working days at Western Electric. When the company asked him to transfer to Chicago, Charlie declined and headed west.

His first job in the drywall industry was working for USG Corp. in 1963. He then moved to L&W Supply where he became the first manager of the Cal-Wal Gypsum Supply stores in California.

His long-time friend, Gene Hatz, of Hamilton Materials, persuaded Charlie to accept a sales position for Hamilton. Within a few years, he became general sales manager and continued to dedicate himself to the drywall industry.

For more than 37 years in the industry, he was an active member with the Western Wall and Ceiling Contractors Association, Northwest Wall and Ceiling Bureau, Residential Drywall Association, California Building Materials Dealer Association, Gypsum Association, Associated Wall and Ceiling Industries, American Society of Testing Materials and International Conference of Building Officials. He was also the founder and president of the Drywall Finishing Council.

Charlie worked to help resolve industry problems and was frequently consulted for his opinion regarding any industry issues.

"He was open to new concepts for finishing gypsum wallboard," says Bob Drury, executive director of NWCB. "He was certainly one who wanted the industry to be better and was interested in a high-end finishing product."

For the past 25 years, one of his biggest loves was being the Master of Ceremonies for the WWCCA Desert Golf Classic held every year in the Palm Springs, Calif.-area. His co-workers, customers and friends will remember Charlie as a family-oriented, honest, hard-working man with integrity and a great sense of humor.

He is survived by his wife Lucille, sons Derek and Jay, daughters Tia and Karlee, and brother Dr. Jack Thomas.