Stiles Thomas Obituary

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By his daughter, Betsy Thomas

Stiles Thomas, 99, died May 7, 2023. He was born on December 25, 1923 at his home on East Allendale Avenue, Allendale, NJ. He is survived by his loving wife of 77 years, Lillian (Sis) Myer Thomas. He was the son of the late Congressman, J. Parnell Thomas and Amelia Stiles Thomas. Stiles lived most of his life in Allendale. He attended the Brookside School in Allendale and Ramsey High School, in Ramsey, NJ.

Stiles served in WWII becoming first Sargent in Company B, 515th Parachute Infantry Regiment and served in Europe. Years later he would become the president of the 13th Airborne Division Association. After discharge, he graduated from the Insurance Institute of New York and opened the Stiles Thomas Insurance Agency in Allendale.

Stiles Red-shouldered Hawk Release
Stiles Thomas 1923-2023

His entire life, he worked tirelessly to preserve nature. He served as president of the Fyke Nature Association, he was treasurer of the NJ Audubon Society and was honored as New Jersey Audubon's Conservationist of the year. In the 1950's he was referred to as the "Blue Bird Man", building and putting up hundreds of blue bird boxes in western NJ to help preserve the species after the environmental impact of the chemical DDT.

He established the first hawk watch at Mt. Peter, NY in 1957 and Hook Mountain, NY in the 1980's. He helped supervise the State Line Look Out in Alpine, NJ for migrating hawks at the Palisades Interstate Park.

For 20 years, he led birding trips to Belize. He was passionate about Belize's wildlife and its people.

He was most proud of his work with the late Mayor Edward Fitzpatrick of Allendale in preserving the 107 acre Celery Farm natural area in Allendale. He was the Celery Farm marsh warden for 26 years.

Stiles loved life and found adventure around every corner. He was selfless, putting others before him at all times. His smile, laughter, wit and kindness endured him to all.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by his daughters, Georgiana Thomas, her husband David LaLima, Betsy Thomas and Judith Thomas. He is also survived by his three grandchildren, Benjamin Dolan, Martin Stiles Lopez and Alexandra Goss as well as her husband, Steven Goss and their two children, Vera and Ashton. Stiles is predeceased by his parents, his brother, Parnell Thomas and his grandson, Carlos Parnell Lopez.

In lieu of flowers, spend time in nature. Walk the Celery farm and treasure all around you!