undated obit from unknown newspaper in Grandma Grace's book
W. Keith Thomas
Keith was born February 3 1917 at the Wayne County Iowa farm home of his parents, Arthur Thomas and Marie Halfhill Thomas. He died January 5 1997 at Liberty Hospital, Liberty MO.
Keith grew up in Wayne County Iowa and throughout his life had deep affection for that area and his friends there. He attended and graduated from Sewal High School in 1935. As a young man he received Jesus Christ as his Savior at a service at Richardson Chapel and later joined the Allerton Baptist Church.
In 1937 he moved with his family to a farm near Cainsville, Missouri, and transferred his membership to First Baptist Church, Cainsville. He was employed as a meat cutter at the Supply Store. Shortly after moving to Cainsville he met Ileen Maple. They were married at the home of Brother V.F. Walker in Princeton Missouri on April 20 1941. Keith and Ileen had four children, Bill, Sandra, Alan Leon, who died in infancy, and David.
Keith was a United States Army veteran, serving in World War II in England and France with the 555th Quartermaster division from 1942 to 1945. Throughout his life he maintained close friendships with many of his army buddies.
After the war ended Keith returned to Cainsville and resumed his work at the Supply Store. In 1951 he joined into a farming partnership with Wilbur and Charles Raymond Goodrich. In 1965 he purchased his own farm which he continued to operate until his retirement. Keith loved farming-straight rows of corn and soybeans, neat stacks of hay, hogs and cattle ready for market, and newborn animals were always beautiful to him. After he could no longer farm, he was always ready to go for a ride in the country to see the crops. In addition to farming, he was a salesman for Pioneer Seeds.
A lifetime dream was fulfilled when he and Ileen visited people and places in England and France where he had served during World War II.
A close friend once described Keith as "the biggest little man he ever knew." Keith was small in stature and had a large, loving heart. He loved his wife, children, grandchildren, and extended family. Later in life, Keith especially enjoyed fishing trips taken with his family, because fo the close times they shared. The way he raised his children and grandchildren, worked as a farmer, and served others was a testimony to his relationship with his God.
Keith was a husband, father, grandfather, farmer, soldier, friend, and servant of others. He served willingly on many community and county boards and committees. He loved visiting with people and made friends easily. He left a rich legacy for those who knew and loved him.
Keith was preceded in death by his parents, Arthur and Marie Thomas; his infant son, Alan Leon, and his brother Wayne. He is survived by his devoted wife Ileen; son Bill and daughter-in-law Virginia; daughter Sandra and son-in-law Allen Putnam; son David and daughter-in-law Dianne. He leaves seven grandchildren: Dan Thomas, Chris Thomas, Amy Putnam, Ruth Putnam Whipple, Sara Thomas Smith, Elissa Thomas, and Whitney Thomas. He is also survived by his brother Dean, his sister Jeane and brother-in-law Bill Ward, and sister-in-law Dorothy Thomas. Keith will also be missed by his nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.
Funeral services were held January 8 1997 at First Baptist Church, Cainsville, Missouri. under the direction of Stoklasa Memorial Chapel in Cainsville with Rev. T. Harold Craig officiating, assisted by Bro. John Welch. Burial was in Oaklawn Cemetery. Pallbearers were grandsons Dan and Chris Thomas, nephews Roger and Randall Thomas, and grand sons-in-law Chad Whipple and Shannon Smith. The family suggests memorial contributions to Cainsville Oaklawn Cemetery and American Legion Post 257 at Cainsville.
"Our father was a quiet man.
Beloved by one and all.
Everyone who knew our Dad,
Fond memories can recall.
He lived a very humble life,
Content with what he had,
We never heard him once complain.
This man who was our dad."
"He farmed the land most of his life,
And planted seeds in season.
The seed he sowed the deepest,
Grows in our heart and reason,
He taught us right from infant up,
And in his gentle way.
He really drove the lesson home
By living it each day."
"He gave us many gifts in life,
That money cannot buy.
The gifts of honesty and truth,
We treasure very high.
He taught us to be thankful,
For whatever things we had.
But most of all we're thankful,
That we had him for our Dad."
The family of Keith Thomas wishes to express their thanks to all of you for your many expressions of kindness shown us at the time of his passing.
Bill and Virginia Thomas and family
Sandra and Allen Putnam and family
David and Dianne Thomas and family