CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — The once unnamed alley between Braxton Avenue and Boone Street will now carry the legacy of being named after local legend Tommy Thomas.
On June 3, the City of Clarksburg honored Tommy, a former police officer and boxer, by naming the alleyway after him that is located right behind his house in the Glenwood Hill neighborhood.
“I just want to thank the city of Clarksburg for putting up this sign in his honor today and I know Tommy is smiling,” Tommy’s sister, Sharon King, said.
Tommy, known as a heavyweight boxing champion in West Virginia and Alaska, passed away in October 2021 after going the distance and fighting his final bout against Parkinson’s and dementia for more than 10 years.
While Tommy was a champion in the ring, he was also seen as a champion in life.
“He was the number one champion, at least in my heart and in my world anyways,” Tommy’s wife, Susan Thomas, said.
At the event, people were recollecting all of their memories with Tommy. When remembering his life, the stories of his impact and laughs just didn’t stop.
Even his family members haven’t heard all of the stories about him, but they certainly knew the impact he had.
“I’ve heard a lot of stories but I haven’t heard them all,” Susan said. “He would do anything for anybody. He would give money to people on the street to go buy food or he would buy food for them. He would give them his watch. That’s just the type of person he was.”
“Stories go on and on about he was a very giving person,” Tommy’s brother, Jerry Thomas, said. “He would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it and he probably did on occasion.”
Tommy’s impact stretched further than just his days as a boxer or police officer, but instead as a person.
“He’s an example of what a person should be, he’s definitely an example of what a police officer should be,” Harrison County Sheriff Robert Matheny said.
“I run into kids today that just thank us and thank us for everything Tommy did for them,” King said. “It’s not your training. It’s your heart. Tommy had a heart for people and he had a heart for children.”