Gary Dale Thomas, 78, of Mattoon, passed away at 9:09 p.m. on Monday, October 31, at Mattoon Health Care and Rehab.
Graveside memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, November 16, in the Arcola Cemetery. Terry Davis will officiate. The Edwards Funeral Home is assisting with arrangements.
Gary was born on December 28, 1943, in Arcola. He was a son of Glenn C. and Gladys (Hunt) Thomas Sr. He married Debra Watson on March 29, 2002, in Champaign.
He is survived by his wife, Debra Thomas of Mattoon; one son, Richard Thomas of Clarksville, Tenn.; three sisters, Helen Sylvester of Arcola, Carole Olson of Urbana, and Sandra Campbell of Urbana; five grandchildren; and several great grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; three sons, Jerry, Roger and Michael Thomas; a granddaughter, Brandy Lee Thomas; a step grandson, Jeremy “Big J” Bauerle; two brothers, Glenn Thomas Jr., and Paul Thomas; and one sister, Patty Hanners.
Gary had worked for Coca-Cola and Pepsi in Champaign and had retired from LittlelFuse in Arcola. He raised German shepherd dogs and was a professional dog handler. Gary had a few champion show dogs through the years. He had up to 150 dogs at one time.
Gary enjoyed watching Illini Athletics, football and basketball being his favorite. He enjoyed video slot machines and drives in the country.