Cover photo for Rodney P. Thomas's Obituary
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Rodney P. Thomas

July 2, 1939 — April 17, 2024

Rodney P. Thomas

Rodney P. Thomas, beloved husband, father and grandfather died at home in Jamestown on Wednesday, April 17 after 15 years of courageously living with Parkinson’s Disease. He was the husband of Patricia Foskett Thomas for almost 58 years. He also leaves behind his children Rodney M. Thomas and Julie T. Berry (husband Seth), grandchildren Zach (Alyssa) Thomas, Timothy Thomas, Chloe Thomas, Ginger Berry and Alex Berry. He was predeceased by his son Peter C. Thomas and his granddaughter Madeline C. Berry, as well as his parents Peter and Julia (Sadeck) Thomas and his sister Elaine Thomas.

Rodney was born in 1939 and was raised in New Bedford, Massachusetts, graduated from Assumption Preparatory School in 1958 and Assumption College in 1962. In 1966, he received his D.M.D. degree from New Jersey College of Medicine and Dentistry.  After serving as Captain in the United States Air Force Dental Corps stationed at Andrews Air Force Base, he returned to New Jersey to complete his 2-year specialty training in Endodontics. In 1970, he moved with Pat and their children to Cranston where he was the founding partner of Thomas, Mellion & Cappuccino, Practice Limited to Endodontics and began a successful career in the practice of endodontics in Rhode Island. After retirement in 1991, he completed his Juris Doctorate in 1996 at Southern New England School of Law and was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar the same year.

Throughout his career, Rodney was active in academic dentistry and in many professional dental organizations. He was a clinical professor at Harvard /Forsyth Post Graduate Endodontic Program, served on the Board of Directors of Delta Dental of Rhode Island, and was Dental Director at Blue Cross Dental of Rhode Island.  He served as Chair of the Board of Dental Examiners of the Rhode Island Department of Health. That distinction led to his appointment to the Northeast Board of Regional Dental Examiners. He was a member of the American Dental Association, the Rhode Island Dental Association, the American and International Colleges of Dentistry and the Pierre Fauchard Academy.

Rodney’s Catholic faith and Lebanese heritage were important to him. He was an active member of St George Maronite Catholic Church and served as Treasurer of the Holy Spirit University Foundation, Kaslik, Lebanon.  He also served the Eparchy of Saint Maron of Brooklyn as a member of the Finance Committee. In 2018, His Holiness Pope Francis named him a Knight of the Pontifical Order of Saint Gregory the Great in recognition of his outstanding witness to the Catholic Faith in the Maronite Church.

Rodney was a loving and devoted parent, grandparent, in-law and friend. He believed in always keeping the door open and spent his final years in Jamestown with regular visits from friends and family. He will be missed by all. Rodney always expressed his gratitude to the many caregivers who assisted him in the last two years.

His funeral will be held on Wednesday, April 24th at 9 a.m. from the NARDOLILLO FUNERAL HOME & Crematory, 1278 Park Ave., Cranston, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial in St George Maronite Catholic Church, 1493 Cranston St., Cranston at 10 a.m.  Burial with military honors will be at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, East Providence.  Visiting hours are Tuesday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA-RI) PO Box 114098, North Providence, RI 02911.

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