Joe Henry Thomas was born September 11, 1936 in Shattuck, Oklahoma to Vint and Johnnie (Mangold) Thomas. He passed away peacefully on November 15, 2016 in the comfort of his home surrounded by his children at the age of 80 years, 2 months and 4 days.
During his youth, Joe enjoyed building and flying model airplanes as well as riding motorcycles. Joe attended school at Durham, Oklahoma and was an avid bull and bareback rider. He graduated from Durham High School in 1954 and continued his passion for aviation by enlisting in the US Air Force, serving his country during the Korean War. He remained in the Air Force for 8 years where he achieved the rank of Staff Sergeant. He was married to Ynema Finney in March of 1961 in Paxton, Illinois. After his discharge in 1962, he and Ynema moved to Pampa, Texas where he was employed at Cabot Corporation as a welder. They remained there until returning to Illinois where he worked in Paxton as a mechanic for Birkey’s Farm Store and also farmed. In 1990, he moved back to Reydon, Oklahoma to make his home. Joe loved Square Dancing with his companion, Sue Flowers, and spending many hours meticulously restoring his antique tractors. He was a 32nd Degree Mason and a member of both the Reydon and Cheyenne American Legion Posts.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his wife, Ynema. He is survived by his 3 daughters, Brenda Bickett and husband, Todd, Brookston, IN, Deann Maurer and husband, Randy, Chenoa, IL, Darlene Smith and husband, Ronny, Pampa, TX; 2 sons, Brent Thomas, Belvidere, IL, and Charles Wallis, Benton, KY; 9 grandchildren, Zack Bickett, Zeb Bickett, Zeph Bickett, Zed Bickett, Erica Green, Devan Maurer, Theresa Cline, Christina Wood, and Pricilla Wallis, 3 great grandchildren, 1 great great grandchild, his companion, Sue Ann Flowers, Durham, OK; 3 sisters, Lola Harris and the late Bob Harris, Oklahoma City, OK, Peggy King and the late Dr. Kenneth King, Edmond, OK, and Gayle Estes Yowell and husband, Clark, Oklahoma City, OK, and a host of other relatives, and friends.
The family requests memorial donations be made to Comforting Hands Hospice, 401 E. 3rd, Elk City, OK 73644, the Reydon Senior Citizens Center, 116 2nd Ave, Reydon, OK 73660, or the Durham Church of Christ, Route 1 Box 56, Durham, OK 73642
A Celebration of Life will be held at the family farm at a later date in April of 2017.