Age 88, passed away on August 15, 2019. He was born on July 25, 1931, in Lansing, to Russell and Barbara Thomas.
Shortly after graduating from Lansing Eastern High School in 1949, he worked for The City of Lansing. He began working for the Lansing Fire Department in 1955 where he worked for 26 years. He was a member of Local 421 of the International Association of Fire Fighters and eventually served as President. Gary later served as President of the Michigan State Fire Fighters Union and State Representative of the I.A.A.F., as well as Financial Secretary and President of the Greater Lansing Labor Council. Throughout the years, he served as an executive board member with many charitable and service organizations.
Gary was a devoted Michigan State fan and served as President of the Downtown Coaches Club. He and his wife, Nancy, traveled often and split time living between Michigan and Florida. Of all his roles, Gary’s proudest was serving as Great Grandfather and was affectionately known as “Bampa.”
Gary was a man of many words who had a story to tell about his countless life experiences, to anyone he met. He was a humble hero with an infectious personality. His presence will be greatly missed by many, but his memory will fondly live in the hearts of those who got to share this great life with him.
Gary joins in Heaven: his parents, his brothers, Russell and Gilbert, sister, Thayer, and daughter, Julie. He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Nancy, his daughter, Jan Thomas, granddaughter, Lacey (Miles) Jonassen, two great-granddaughters, Eloise and Ada, brother-in-law, Richard Hull, many nieces and nephews, very special friends Patty Farhat and Scott Tobey, and many Brothers & Sisters of Service.
There will be funeral service held at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, August 24, 2019, at the Estes-Leadley Greater Lansing Chapel with visitations on Friday, August 23rd from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m., also at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to the Muscular Dystrophy Association Boot Drive or the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.
‘After while, Crocodile…’