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Miami resident turns 100

caines | 4/4/2013, 5:30 a.m.

Thomas (bottom right) is photographed with family. Miami Times photo/Malika Wright

Family celebrates Edward Thomas 100th birthday Edward Thomas will have a weekend celebration this week with his family and friends in honor of turning 100 years old on March 27. About 25 of his family members will travel from Pennsylvania, New York, Georgia and Michigan. The family, who has already started celebrating, will have a fish fry on Friday and a banquet-styled dinner on Saturday. Saturdays event is a big surprise, according to his daughter-in-law, Delores Lyles. There will be live music, dance performances, poetry recited and singing. Thomas, a man who is known for his independence even at the age of 100, was born in Savannah, GA. He has seven children. Two from his first marriage and five from his second marriage. Thomas was a part of the Navy in his earlier 20s. After serving, he moved to Miami and lived in Overtown, before I-95 was built in the middle of the community, and then moving to Opa-locka. Over the years, he was a self-employed carpenter. For about 45 years, he built houses, demolished, refurnished and added additions to houses. Some of the things that are important to Thomas is his family, faith and helping others. He was a deacon at The Soul Saving Station for about 40 years. He loves to pray and even to this day he prays. Also, he has Bible study with a group of who visits his home. Delores Lyles said that Thomas is unique because he is independent and because of his relationship with his wife, Eula Lyles Thomas, 91. Because shes so feisty for her age, she keeps him going, Lyles said. Kyiresha Lyles, Thomas granddaughter also believes that Thomas independence makes him remarkable. She said he dresses, feeds and does many things independently, even though she offers help. I dont know if Ill ever see 100, but for someone to be that age and still pushing to do all these things by himself when there are younger people who are not that eager to help themselves, I think that part of him is really special. By Malika A. Wrightmwright@miamitimesonline.com