Galveston College is deeply saddened by Friday’s passing of longtime business leader Charlie Thomas, 89, of Houston, who at one time owned multiple Texas car dealerships as well as the Houston Rockets basketball team.

Through the generosity of Mr. Thomas and his family, Galveston College opened the Charlie Thomas Family Applied Technology Center in 2013 at the dealership’s former Galveston location on Broadway Street as a commitment to provide multiple workforce and technology programs for residents to be trained to enter lucrative careers in the Galveston County area.

Since that time, the programs have produced hundreds of graduates who have joined the workforce or become their own service industry business owners and providers.

“Mr. Thomas was an outstanding business and community leader, Texan and friend of Galveston College,” said Dr. Myles Shelton, Galveston College president. “He left a tremendous legacy in Galveston and will continue to touch many lives through the students who receive technical education and training at the Charlie Thomas Family Applied Technology Center. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.”

For more information about the Galveston College Charlie Thomas Family Applied Technology Center, please contact Dr. Van Patterson at or (409) 944-1205.

Mr. Thomas’ obituary may be found in the Wednesday, Jan. 20, issue of the Houston Chronicle. Funeral service information may be found here.

Photo: Geo. H. Lewis & Sons Funeral Directors