STAFFORD, NJ - During the time of the incredible growth of Southern Ocean County, many will remember that Zachariae Realty was the main realty company in our area.  In fact, after transferring in his job from North Jersey, my dad met Aileen Kidd, the sister of William Thomas.  My dad transferred to work for NJ Bell Telephone's local office here in Manahawkin from West Orange.  Aileen was our realtor and was so kind to our family.  She introduced us to Southern Ocean County living and she sold us our home in Ocean Acres way back in 1978, which is still in the Sharkey family to this day.  .  

William P. Thomas returned from World War II to make a mark in the southern Ocean County real estate industry, he died on Sunday at the age of 90.  

Thomas was broker-owner of Prudential Zack Shore Properties, which recently became Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Zack Shore Realtors. The office now is overseen by his son, Kevin, and by his sister, Aileen.

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Thomas graduated from Cardinal Hayes Memorial High School in New York City and attended Princeton University before he enlisted in the U.S. Army as part of the Fifth Ranger Battalion. He received five medals, including the Purple Heart and Bronze Star.

After the war, he started William P. Thomas Builders.  He built included 500 homes, motels, a 55-unit oceanfront condominium in Ship Bottom and work on the Ocean County Courthouse. He also developed Deer Lake Park in Stafford.

The following is his obituary from the Maxwell-Tobie Funeral Home:

William P. Thomas, 90, of Manahawkin, passed away on Sunday, April 17, 2016. Born in Plymouth, England, Bill lived in New York City prior to Manahawkin where he resided since 1947. He was broker/owner of Zachariah Realty, based in the Ocean County shore area. He served as president of the NJ Association of Realtors, of the Ocean County Board of Realtors, and was a regional vice president of the National Association of Realtors. Bill proudly served his country during World War II as a U.S. Army Ranger, earning a Purple Heart and Bronze Star. He was a parishioner of St. Francis of Assisi Church, Long Beach Island. 

Bill is predeceased by his sons; John, Robert and Gerard, his first wife Lee and his second wife Dorothy. He is survived by his wife, Lynnette Thomas (nee Sprague), his sons; Kevin Thomas and his wife Susan, William Thomas Jr., Vincent McAuliffe and his wife Kristin, and Charles McAuliffe and his wife Barbara, his two daughters; Lyn Thomas and her partner Tamra, and Eugenia Kelly, his two sisters; Margaret Morich and Aileen Kidd, his twelve grandchildren and his six great grandchildren.

Visiting hours will be held on Wednesday, April 20, 2016 from 2pm to 4pm and 6pm to 9pm at Maxwell-Tobie Funeral Home and Cremation Service, 573 Mill Creek Road, Manahawkin, NJ 08050. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place Thursday, April 21, 10:00am, at St. Francis of Assisi Church, Long Beach Blvd., Brant Beach. Interment will follow at Greenwood Cemetery, Cedar Run. For online condolences and directions log onto