He was born on Feb. 1, 1939, in Welch to W.C. “Buss” and Rosa (Brookshire) Thomas. He grew up and attended school in the Welch area and graduated from Welch High School in 1957.
He was a lifelong rancher and farmer, raising quarter horses and greyhounds.
He married Sandra Kaldenberg on Sept. 21, 1994, in Chetopa. She survives of the home.
Other survivors include five daughters, Terri Shaffar of Grove, Okla., Tracy Brannin of Oswego, Trudi Chaney of Watonga, Okla., Treva Nading of Owasso, Okla., and Cari Thomas of Welch; three stepchildren, Lori Lawyer of Indianola, Iowa, Donnie Keith Garner of Bluejacket, Okla., and Terri Fitzpatrick of Welch; two brothers, Paul Thomas of Miami, Okla., and Jim Thomas of Welch; two sisters, Lucille Ingram of Welch and JoAnne Ruark-Ackermann of Del Rio, Texas; 32 grandchildren; and 16 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and his wife, Shirley Reisch Thomas.
The service will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Welch Civic Center. Burial will be in Welch Cemetery. The visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Thomas Funeral Home, Welch.
Memorials are suggested to Welch FFA and 4-H Ag Boosters and can be left at the funeral home or at Welch High School.