William Claude Thomas, age 79, of Sturgis, Mich., passed away Sunday morning, Jan. 12, 2014, at his home.
He was born in Sharpsburg, Ky., son of the late Claude and Etta Haney Thomas.
Bill resided in Sturgis since 1991 coming from Bronson. On Oct. 31, 1958, he married Janet Marie Rumsey in Angola, Ind.
For over 20 years, he was a dedicated employee and supervisor at Douglas Manufacturing in Bronson. He also had worked at the Kirsch Company in Sturgis and he was a self-employed building contractor.
He attended the First Baptist Church in Sturgis and loved time with his family especially his grandchildren.
Bill was proud to have served his country in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War earning the rank of Airman 1st Class. Bill was a member of the Orland American Legion Post #423.
He is survived by his loving and dedicated wife of 55 years, Janet Marie Thomas; three daughters, Denise (Rev. Bob) Scott of Paradise, Calif., Deneen Ann Thomas Printke of Remus and Kathy (Randy) Cleveland of Mendon; two sons, Randy L. Thomas of Sturgis and Daniel Lee Thomas of Bronson; six grandchildren, Shannon, Cassidy, Hope, Lindsey, Jessica and Jackson; 10 great-grandchildren; three sisters, Fay Sturtz of Howe, Ind.,, Betty Buchanan of Kalamazoo and Claudette Milner of Angola, Ind.; one brother, J.D. Thomas of LaGrange, Ind., and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents and two sisters, Marie Booth and Edna Rinehart.
The family will receive friends from noon-2 p.m. Tuesday at the First Baptist Church, 1050 E. Fawn River Road in Sturgis. Funeral services celebrating the life of William C. Thomas will begin at 2 p.m. Tuesday at the church. The Rev. James Bender will officiate. A graveside committal will follow the service at Green Lawn Cemetery in Orland, Indiana where full military honors will be conferred by the Orland American Legion Post #423 Honor Guard and the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard.
The Hackman Family Funeral Homes – Hackman Chapel, 114 S. Nottawa St., Sturgis, MI 49091, 269-651-2331 is entrusted with the arrangements.
Memorial donations would be appreciated to the family c/o: Janet Thomas, 307 E. Lafayette St., Sturgis, MI 49091.
The obituary is also at www.hackmanfamilyfuneralhome.com where personal messages of support may be left for the family.