Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Dennis R. Thomas

WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wis. - Dennis R. Thomas, 74, of Wisconsin Rapids, a former resident of Hurley, and Ironwood, Michigan, passed away on March 28, 2024. He peacefully departed at his home, surrounded by his wife of 52 years and his loyal companion and dog, Joey, after bravely battling chronic illness.

Dennis was born on April 29, 1949, in Ironwood, to Charles G. Thomas of Hurley and Lucille Barnecott of Ironwood, both of whom preceded him in death. He was also preceded in death by his brother, Charles G. Thomas of Wausau; and his sister, Carol Cocking of Bessemer, Michigan.

Dennis graduated from Hurley High School with the class of 1967 and pursued further education at Gogebic Community College, where he earned a certificate in building construction. He began his career at the White Pine Copper Mine until its downsizing.

Dennis proudly served as a member of ILUNA (International Labor Union of North America), AFL-CIO, and was affiliated with three local unions in Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin, accumulating 43 years of dedicated service.

Dennis's cherished pastime was camping in the wilderness of the north, reveling in the beauty of the outdoors, and sharing joyful moments with friends and family. Known for his playful sense of humor, he delighted in joking and light conversation. He held a deep respect and affection for animals, exemplified by his lifelong love for his rescue dogs. His rescue dog, Joey, joined him in eternal rest shortly after Dennis' passing.

Dennis is survived by his devoted wife, Jane Thomas (Richards), of Iron Belt; and their daughter, Jacqueline Hill, of Federal Way, Washington. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Shelley Thomas, of Ironwood.

Dennis was blessed with five grandsons, David Hamilton (Alison) of Black Diamond, Washington, Stephen Hamilton of Federal Way, Brandon Johnson of Ironwood, Jayson Johnson of Mercer, and Austin Johnson of Pence. Additionally, he leaves behind numerous nephews, nieces and cousins, too many to enumerate, including descendants of his grandparents on the Thomas side, who alone had 13 children.

Due to the geographical dispersion of the family, multiple private celebrations of life will be held at a later date to honor Dennis's memory.