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View a eulogy for Henry Lucius Thomas, USMA '64, who passed away on May 14, 1995.

Henry Lucius Thomas

West Point, 1964

Be Thou At Peace

Posted by Megan Tiffany Price on November 14, 2002:


It seems like yesterday...

Cameron and I were kids and you'd come to visit. We were fascinated by your wonderful wheelchair, always begging to be given a ride. You'd let us climb up into your lap and give us the reins. We probably put 100 extra miles on that chair - driving all over the house and back yard. The pockets on your chair and your backpack held many interesting toys, all fashioned to fit onto the braces on your hands, forks and spoons and pens and mirrors and a toothbrush and razors. We'd rifle through everything and finally come up with whatever gadget you were wanting and snap it onto the brace and sit back and watch your marvelous abilities. You could do anything in spite of the problems God threw your way. And then there was the van . . . It had a joystick instead of a steering wheel and a lift so that you could get in. We got to operate the lift and ride it up and down with you and, when we were tall enough to see out the windshield, you even allowed us to drive with the joystick!! You took many pills to keep all your systems functioning and we made a game of this. You'd stick your tongue out like a frog and I'd get to put your medicine on your tongue. Then you'd suck the pills down and stick out your tongue again for more - always getting a giggle out of me. When I was four, you got married and I was the flower girl at your wedding. My mom made me a pretty peach-colored dress and I was to carry a basket full of flower petals and scatter them down the aisle as I walked in front of you and Nancy. I completely forgot about dropping the petals . . . took them with me all the way to the front of the church!

Hank, I have many memories of you. You were always so full of fun and always had a big grin for me. You'll never leave my side. I love you and I miss you. I got to say goodbye to you one last time right before we lost you. It was really hard to let you go - you'd been a part of my life for so many years. I walked into your room and the first thing you did was start giving me hell for wanting to see you in your condition. We joked around for a few minutes until you got tired and we said goodbye with a big hug and a kiss. After I left you, I went to Yosemite and wandered about in its snow-covered wilderness. The sun was shining through the pine trees and it was so quiet. I thanked God for letting you be a wonderful part of my life and I thanked you for your example of courage and strength in the face of tremendous adversity.

Hank, I'm 28 now and I'm a proud young woman with a mind of my own. I have had many life-defining influences and I have not become who I am without each of them. You had a profound affect on me as a child and young adult and it is because of your example that I will strive to live with courage and a smile no matter what cards I am dealt. I think of you often and I love you still.

Megan Tiffany

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