One Last Goodbye to Coach Thomas

by Nicole Agee, Anchor/Reporter

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By Daren Sukhram

PARKERSBURG - Thousands shared tears, hugs and memories at Monday's funeral service for Aplington-Parkersburg Football Coach Ed Thomas.

His family and friends solemnly walked into the church to say one last goodbye.

Mourners filled the First Congregational Church in Parkersburg, the Veterans Memorial Building, and a parking lot.

Friends next to strangers. Family next to football rivals. Thousands gathered to say goodbye to Coach Ed Thomas.

"It's just a great testimony to him to see all the people that have come," said Thomas family friend Robert Hoodjer.

Jerseys of every color dotted the crowd, as football teams from across the area paid their respects.

"You can see by the line up here before they got to the cemetery, all the different jerseys here of different teams and the tribute they were giving to Ed," said Thomas family friend Shirley Hoodjer.

"I was telling some of the kids, you can always judge a man how well they lived by how many people show up at their funeral. And if you've got to have two places to meet and a parking lot filled, that just says a lot," said Kennedy Cougar football coach Troy Elliott.

And now the healing begins, though the coach won't be forgotten.

"I know that my father's legacy, not only through those people, but through my brother, myself and my three boys, will live on," said Aaron Thomas.

"He taught so many kids so many great lessons. It's astounding how many people's lives he's touched," said former A-P player Evan Capper.

Coach Thomas' own words from the KCRG-TV9 Athlete of the Week banquet, "It's amazing how you bond together when you face adversity in your life."

"God must be finished with Ed here on earth, and he took him home."

The Thomas family continues to ask that people pray for the Becker family. 24-year old Mark Becker is charged with the murder of Ed Thomas. He remains in the Cerro Gordo County Jail tonight on one-million dollars bond.

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