Richard Haley "Dick" Thomas died on Monday (Dec. 13, 2010) in Quincy, surrounded by his family. He was 82. He was born in Quincy on Sept. 6, 1928.
Dick Thomas knew electricity. His jobs were measured in amps, volts and watts, but anyone who knew Dick Thomas knew the true current of his life was measured in hard work, love and service to God.Dick spent his working years in the electrical field as co-owner of Mac's Limited Electrical Contractors, but his life's work was service to his church and love of family.
For 75 years he was an active, devoted member of Vermont Street United Methodist Church. He gave freely and cheerfully of his time and talents to the church and served in numerous positions including Sunday school superintendent, member of the Double Ring Sunday School class, member of the building committee and member of the church trustees. Dick served on the board of MacMurray College and was chairman of the board for Chaddock. He passionately supported Sunset Home as a board member and donor. He was an enthusiastic Quincy Blue Devil fan, and loved to walk, golf, play tennis and racquetball.
Dick had a heart for service, but his greatest love was reserved for family. He and Betty Taylor were married Aug. 14, 1949 at Vermont Street United Methodist Church. They have been married for 61 years and have six children.Dick loved taking the family and friends to their place at the Lake of the Ozarks to spend time together boating, skiing and having fun. Later in life, he enjoyed attending any event if one of his grandchildren was involved.
Dick is survived by his wife, Betty Thomas of Quincy; his children, Rick Thomas and his wife, Linda, of Decatur, Karen Kinney and her husband, Tim, of Camdenton, Mo., Bruce Thomas and his wife, Kathy, of Quincy, Ross Thomas and his wife, Gayla, of Ballwin, Mo., Jeff Thomas and his wife, Karen, of Quincy, and Sara Meyer and her husband, Eric, of Quincy; grandchildren, Jason Thomas and his wife, Jennifer, Lindsay Raich and her husband, Nick, Jessica Bach and her husband, Andrew, Nathan Kinney and his fiance', Chaela Shannon, Jennafer White and her husband, Brady, Ryan Thomas and his wife, Sarah, Tara Gardner and her husband, Kyle, Ian Thomas and his fiance', Trisha Vieregge, Meghan Grimmer and her husband, Brian, Kameron Thomas, Raegan Thomas, Kirsten Thomas, Linda Meckem and her husband, David, Kristen Zahm and her husband, Derek, Steven Thomas, Lauren Thomas, Haley Meyer, Emily Meyer, Andrew Meyer; a nephew, Kent McCormick and his wife, Linda; and 10 great-grandchildren.
Dick was preceded in death by his parents, Edwin and Nina Thomas; his sister and brother-in-law, Ruth and Rodney McCormick; and dear friends Dave and Betty Montgomery.
My Grandpa was an INCREDIBLE man-- if you haven't figured it out already by his obituary. I could only hope my obituary will be a tenth of what the above reads. It was the strangest thing when I got the call that he died… I felt like I was walking through Jell-O the whole next day. I remember telling my sister that I felt like hair gel bubbles… (what on earth does that even mean???) Even though we all knew it was coming, and none of us wanted him to suffer anymore, it just felt so awful!
Grandpa never missed a show of mine, always sat next to me at Nate's hundreds of baseball games and always had a seat saved in the top row of the bleachers to watch Jessica cheer. (keep in mind, that's just THREE of his MANY grandkids) He always had WAY more milk than I could ever drink in the fridge for me and NEVER said no to ice cream! (maybe I owe my thighs, hips and love of ice cream to him in some way???)
Through some amazing people we were able to fly home a few days after and were able to be there for the visitation and funeral. The visitation lasted for four hours and the line didn't stop one time. Hundreds of people came to pay their respects to one of the greatest men that ever lived… a man that I was blessed to be able to call "Grandpa".
Being with the whole family was so comforting and incredible. The older cousins shared stories of Grandpa's earlier years with the younger cousins, I got to sing Grandpa's favorite hymn, "how great thou art", with my cousin, Emily and we got to cry and laugh together as we celebrated the amazing example my Grandpa led for us.
It's an indescribable feeling when you know someone you love so dearly is up in heaven with Jesus. I don't know what heaven's like, but I like to think we'll have solid-gold mansions right next door to each other… (and we will play yahtzee every night on our back porches-- and he'll probably still win)