Employed at International Harvester in Fort Wayne for 23 years, he later worked as an electrical contractor and retired as a partner in BBK Electric, Inc. in 2011.
In addition to his professional career, his life was marked by memberships and dedicated service in several organizations. He was a member of the Fellowship of Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church, east of Churubusco. He was five times worshipful master of Huntertown Lodge 689 F&AM, twice worthy patron of Churubusco Order of the Eastern Star 136, was a member of the Scottish Rite, Valley of Fort Wayne, and was past associate Bethel Guardian with Indiana Job’s Daughters, also serving on its state council.
Besides his church and Masonic affiliations, he was a founding board member of the Allen County 4-H Fairgrounds, had served for 16 years on the Allen County 4-H Board of Directors, and was past president of the Fort Wayne Corvette Club. He was also past president of the Huntertown High School Class of 1961 class reunions.
The surviving relatives include his wife Darlene; his children Robert Jon Thomas of Garrett, Tracie (Todd) Evans of Archbold, Ohio, Kevin (Tracy) Thomas of Churubusco, and Philip (Paula) Thomas of Kendallville; three sisters Barbara (Jim) Wilson of Riverside, Calif., Becky (Peter) Surdenik of Lansing, Mich., and Elizabeth (Edward) Hays of Rossville, Ga; two brothers Timothy (Ann) Thomas of Holstein, Iowa and John (Ann) Thomas of Indianapolis; two brothers-in-law Everett E. “Busty” (Linda) Liggett of Auburn and Everett (Jennifer) Liggett, Jr. of Kokomo; eight grandchildren, two step-grandchildren, a great-grandson; and several nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a sister Margaret Thomas.
Funeral services will be held at 10 a. m. on Saturday, October 6, 2012, at the Fellowship of Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church, 13733 Wesley Chapel Road, with Pastor Larry Smith and Kevin Thomas, officiating.
The family will receive friends at the Sheets & Childs Funeral Home in Churubusco on Friday from 3 to 8 p. m., or at the church one hour prior to the service Saturday morning. Churubusco Order of the Eastern Star 136 will conduct memorial services at 7:45 p. m. Friday at the funeral home, immediately followed by a memorial service by Huntertown Lodge 689 F&AM.
For those who wish, memorials may be directed to the Fellowship of Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church, 13733 Wesley Chapel Rd., Churubusco, IN 46723.