Parishioners of St. Mary Catholic Church in German Village are mourning the loss of their pastor, the Rev. Charles Theodore "Ted" Thomas, who died on Easter Sunday.

Parishioners of St. Mary Catholic Church in German Village are mourning the loss of their pastor, the Rev. Charles Theodore "Ted" Thomas, who died on Easter Sunday.

He was 63.

Members of the congregation remember Thomas as an affable, devoted priest who will be missed greatly. He served St. Mary since 2006.

"He was a great man, very much loved over here," said parishioner Ray Thomas, who is no relation. "He served well. But he's been in bad health for the past several months. It's a great loss to this parish."

Parishioners say Thomas had contracted a blood disease last year and had open-heart surgery last August. Also last summer, Thomas was assigned to two additional churches in the area: Corpus Christi and St. Ladislas.

Agnes Carpenter, another parishioner, said Thomas seemed drained of energy. In recent months, his health had been suffering. He was admitted to Riverside Methodist Hospital April 20 and remained there until his death.

Parishioner Jack Auer said Thomas wasn't one to complain about his condition.

"That whole time he never had a 'woe is me' attitude," Auer said. "You knew he was ailing because he moved a little but slower but nothing like, 'Look at me, I'm suffering.' You'd never know anything was wrong when you talked to him."

Thomas was an avid cook and author and was active in youth functions. He also wrote a regular column for The Catholic Times for a number of years.

"He was a good conversationalist and I can tell you firsthand he was a good cook," said parishioner Frank Wickham. "And he loved people. He loved to interact with people."

A native of Columbus, Thomas graduated from Bishop Watterson High School in 1965. He served a number of local churches and built a huge following, Wickham said. He served a parish in Ada, Ohio, and was an adjunct professor at Ohio Northern University.

The Rev. Michael Watson, formerly of St. Mary and current pastor of St. Andrew parish, said Thomas had "a good-natured and nonjudgmental demeanor."

"He sought the best in others, rather than view them with a critical eye," he said.

Thomas purchased a piece of land in Byhalia, Ohio, to build a baseball diamond for his large family, which had 11 siblings. But the clergy called and the field was never built.

His brother, Joe, said he was a rambunctious youth.

"He was a character," Joe Thomas said. "He was ornery -- nice, but ornery."

The funeral, being arranged by the Maeder-Quint-Tiberi Funeral Home, is scheduled 11 a.m. April 28 at St. Mary, 684 S. Third St.