Gary Thomas

Written by Theresa Rose on May 5, 2017

Gary D. Thomas, 82, of Mt. Pleasant, died unexpectedly Wednesday, May 3, 2017, at his residence.

The funeral service for Gary Thomas will be held at 11:00 AM on Thursday, May 11 at the Kimzey Funeral Home, 213 North Main Street, Mount Pleasant. Pastor Larry Shipley and Mr. Dennis Tucker will officiate. Burial will be at a later date in the Thompson Cemetery, rural Bonaparte, IA. Friends may call from 12 Noon to 9:00 PM on Wed., May 10 at the funeral home. The family will be present to receive friends from 4-7 PM Wednesday evening.

Gary Dean Thomas was born May 12, 1934 in Fairfield, IA. He was the son of Roy Rueben and Esther May (Bartholomew) Thomas. He received his education in the schools of Van Buren County. On July 10, 1954 in the Methodist Church in Bonaparte, Gary was united in marriage to Cleda Mae Willits.

For many years, Gary was the head mechanic for the bus barn of the Mt. Pleasant Community School District. During his time there, Gary also drove a bus route and was often called upon to drive the bus for various school activities. Due to a back injury, he then went to work as a meter reader for the Mt. Pleasant Utilities. Gary then became a Supervisor in the Maintenance Department for the Mt. Pleasant Correctional Institute and the Mt. Pleasant Mental Health Institute. He retired from that position on December 31, 1996.

Gary served as a fireman for the Mt. Pleasant Volunteer Fire Department for 18 years. During some of that time, he also served on the Henry County Rescue Squad before the two entities merged. Gary loved to fish, most especially on the Des Moines River near Bentonsport. He enjoyed vacationing to baseball games. At home, Gary loved to play Solitaire, seldom losing a hand. During the winter months, Gary enjoyed solving and assembling jigsaw puzzles. H collected coins, and would add to his collection of coins and other memorabilia by perusing through auctions and garage sales.

Those thankful for sharing in Gary’s life include his wife of 62 years, Cleda of Mt. Pleasant; 3 children – Merle Thomas of Mt. Pleasant, Mike Thomas and his wife Cindy of Ankeny, IA, and Melinda Jung of Hilo, Hawaii; 1 brother – Bobby Thomas and his wife Joette of Bentonsport, IA; 1 sister-in-law, Marilyn Thomas of Bonaparte, IA and several grandchildren and great grandchildren.

His parents and a brother, Donnie Thomas, precede Gary in death.

A memorial has been established to aid programs in the prevention of bullying among children.