Robert "Bob" F. Thomas, age 68, of Minto, N.D., passed away on Tuesday, April 23, 2013, after fighting a courageous battle with cancer. He passed away in his home surrounded by his loving family.
Bob was born March 7, 1945, in Huntingdon, Pa., the son of the late Melvin F. and Margaret L. (Skillington) Thomas. He graduated from Southern Huntingdon High School. Bob enlisted in the United States Navy and served as a hospital corpsman in Vietnam from 1964-68.
He was united in marriage to Jeanne Nelson on Aug. 17, 1968, at Blair Mills, Pa. The couple later moved to Minot, N.D., and they managed the Thunderbird Motel while he attended Minot State University. Following his education, Bob was an officer for the Minot Police Department.
In 1973 Bob re-enlisted in the United States Navy and served at Bethesda Naval Base in Maryland and Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. Following his discharge in 1975 the couple moved to Mohall, N.D., and Bob served as Renville County Sheriff for 18 years. In 1994 the couple moved to Minto, N.D., and Bob worked as Chief Deputy for the Walsh County Sheriff's Department until retiring on April 1, 2009. Bob was diagnosed with cancer shortly thereafter.
Bob was a member of the Minto American Legion Post #201. He was a member of the North Dakota Peace Officers Association, where he served as Secretary/Treasurer for many years. He was a member of the North Dakota Sheriff and Deputy Association. He was a member of the Mohall Fire Department and the Mohall Jaycees. Bob was a very community-minded individual. He drove the school bus and the team bus for Mohall Public School for over 20 years. He was an avid sportsman, playing on the Mohall Softball and Bowling Leagues. He enjoyed golfing, darts, and time spent with his many friends. He loved his Pittsburgh Steelers!
Most of all, Bob loved his wife and family. He lived for the time spent with his children and grandchildren.
Bob will be missed by many.
Bob is survived by: his wife, Jeanne, Minto, N.D.; daughters, Laura (Rodney) Luhr, Carnduff, Sask., Stephanie Thomas, (Brandon Cormican), Crookston, Minn., Jenn Raap, Mohall, N.D.; 10 grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, and siblings, Richard (Dottie) Thomas, McConnelsberg, Pa.; Benjamin (Jean) Thomas, Shade Gap, Pa.; and Mickey (Larry) Knepper, Blairs Mills, Pa.
He was preceded in death by his parents; infant sister, Margaret Thomas; three infant daughters, Katherin, Barbara and Baby Thomas; and granddaughter, Heidon Barta.
Memorial services: Will be Tuesday, April 30, 2013, at 11 a.m. at the Bethel Free Lutheran Church, of Grafton.
Visitation: Will be Monday, April 29, from 5 to 7 p.m., with a prayer service at 7 p.m., both at the Tollefson Funeral Home of Grafton. Friends may also call at the church Tuesday for one hour prior to the service. Military rites will be provided by the Minto American Legion Post #201 and the North Dakota National Guard Honor Guard.
An online guest book is available at (www.tollefsonfuneralhome.com).
The Tollefson Funeral Home of Grafton is in charge of the arrangements.