The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

John C. Thomas


May 1, 2019

MINOCQUA, Wis. - John C. Thomas, 83, passed away peacefully on Sunday, April 28, 2019, in Minocqua.

He was born July 10, 1935, to Arthur and Martha (Kruger) Thomas in Ironwood, Mich. He graduated from Ironwood High School in 1953 where he also served in the National Guard. He married Shirley (Siirila) Thomas on Aug. 1, 1959, and together they had two sons and a daughter. He served in the Army from 1953-1956 as a Corporal working on missile guidance systems and was stationed in Fort Bliss, Texas.

Under the G.I. Bill, he attended Gogebic Community College and the University of Wisconsin-Superior where he earned his teaching degree. He also obtained his master's degree in child psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He started teaching mathematics in the Oconomowoc school district in 1961 and spent most of his career as a middle and high school counselor. After 32 years, he retired in 1993 and moved to his current home in Mercer.

John loved spending time with his family, doing daily crossword puzzles, and helping others in need.  One of the highlights of his retirement was being able to take a Military Honor Flight in 2014. He enjoyed learning about history and had a wealth of knowledge on all things military. He was very active in the community and was a member of the Oconomowoc Jaycees, a Shriner, and served as a commander and chaplin of American Legion Post 424. He was also very active in his local church and served as a reader at St. Isaac Jogues Rectory in Mercer.

John is survived by his wife of 59 years, Shirley Thomas; sons, Chris and Bryan (wife, Frankie) Thomas; daughter, Mary Jo Thomas; grandchildren, Paige, Taylor, Madison, Quinton, Tyler, Natalie and Morgan; nieces, Beverly Dahl and Laurie Fox; and his beloved pets, Brady and Miss Kitty.

John was preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Audrey and Sally; brother, Art; and nephew, David.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to either to Hope Animal Shelter in Ironwood, or Foster and Smith Animal Clinic in Manitowish Waters.

McKevitt-Patrick Funeral Home, Ironwood, is assisting the family. For more information or to express online condolences, visit


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