Oscoda County Herald

Reverend Don F. Thomas

Died March 24, 2021

Reverend Don F. Thomas died March 24, 2021 due to complications from congestive heart failure and Parkinson’s disease. 

He and his twin sister, Donna, were born March 26, 1933 to Roy and Elsa (Lindauer) Thomas at their home on Euler Road in Brighton, MI. Following his graduation from Brighton HS, he attended Wayne State University before pursuing the call to become a Lutheran minister. He attended Capital University (Columbus, OH) then continued to Trinity Seminary, graduating with his Bachelor of Divinity in 1959. He earned his Master of Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary before taking a call to serve the parish of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, Ida and St. Matthew, Raisinville Twp., MI. Although he fully intended to return to school to pursue a future in academia., Pat Duvall caught his eye as she sang in the front row of the choir at St. Mark’s. They married and remained in Ida to raise their family. In addition to merging the two parishes and serving Prince of Peace Lutheran Church (ELCA) for over 37 years, he served on the board of Social Services (now Family Independence Agency), as chaplain for the Michigan State Police, on the Ida Board of Education, and was a founding member of the Monroe Antique Car Klub. Following his retirement, he and his wife moved north to Mio, Michigan. He served on the MSU Extension Council for Oscoda County and helped build houses for Habitat for Humanity. He preached on a regular basis at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in Mio. He retired a second time after serving for two years as the Church Relations Director for Lutheran Social Services of Michigan of the NW Lower Michigan Synod of the ELCA. In December of 2006, he and his wife returned to his hometown of Brighton. They are members of his home parish, St. George Lutheran Church, where he had been ordained on June 19, 1960. He enjoyed connecting with others by creating unique worship experiences, such as taking youth groups canoeing on the Au Sable River and holding riverside communion services with them. He also enjoyed sharing the creations of his woodworking skills and being involved in whatever community they lived. He lived a life of service, teaching by living the example.

Don was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers, Roy Jr., and Jack; and sisters, Arlene and Donna (his twin).

His is survived by his wife of 59 years, Pat; daughter, Cheryl (Bob) Tacy, Wixom and two sons, Jeffrey (Mary) Thomas, Lambertville and Paul (Catherine) Thomas, Maumee, OH; and four grandsons, Aaron Tacy, NY, Garrett Tacy, Wixom, Andrew Thomas, Toledo, Nathan Thomas, Grand Rapids; and several nieces and nephews.

Visitation will take place on Saturday, March 27, 2021 from 1 p.m. until 6 p.m. at St. George Lutheran Church, 803 W. Main St. Brighton. His private Funeral Service will take place on Sunday, March 28, 2021 at 1:30 p.m.  Due to Covid restrictions, the service will be for the family only. Everyone is welcome to join us for the final committal at Fairview Cemetery, Brighton, MI.