Walter Thomas, 92, bar owner, activist

July 31, 2002

Walter Thomas, 92, bar owner, activist

Walter Thomas, a retired bar owner and community activist, died of cancer Sunday at St. Agnes HealthCare. He was 92 and lived in the Lafayette Square section of West Baltimore.

Born in Lynchburg, S.C., where he attended public schools, Mr. Thomas moved to Baltimore as a young man and worked as a waiter at the old Emerson Hotel at Calvert and Baltimore streets.

Family members said he was known in the neighborhood as "Bow Tie" Thomas because of his favorite ties. They said he worked for businessman William L. "Little Willie" Adams and managed several taverns in Northwest Baltimore, including the Kleeco Club at Presstman and Calhoun streets in the 1950s, where Mr. Thomas had an ownership interest.

He was active in the Penn-North Business Association and the Lafayette Square Council, a neighborhood group.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at Metropolitan United Methodist Church, 1121 W. Lanvale St.

Mr. Thomas is survived by his wife of 66 years, the former Ruby Cox; a son, Walter Smith of Baltimore; a brother, Jeffrey Thomas of Brooklyn, N.Y.; a sister, Loureen Carnes of Lynchburg, S.C.; a granddaughter; and a great-granddaughter.

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