Nicholas Thomas, 84, of Devils Lake, N.D., passed away on Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at the Good Samaritan Center, Devils Lake where he had resided since 2011.
Mass of the Resurrection will be held on Monday, January 14 at 10 a.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Devils Lake. Fr. Prasad Marneni will celebrate the Mass and burial will be in the Devils Lake Cemetery. Military Honors will be accorded by the Neathery-Simensen Post #756, Devils Lake Veterans of Foreign Wars and the North Dakota Military Funeral Honors Team. Visitation will be held at the Gilbertson Funeral Home, Devils Lake on Sunday from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. with a Rosary and scripture service at 4 p.m. Visitation on Monday will be at the church one hour prior to the funeral Mass.
Serving as casket bearers for Nick will be Craig Thomas, Kolby Holtz, Jaret Holtz, Randy Holtz, Stan Howen and Brock DeBilzon. Honorary bearers will be Nick's grandchildren and great grandchildren and the staff of the Good Samaritan Center. Reading the scriptures will be Mandy Thomas and gift bearers will be Bobbi Hakanson and Nicole Faine.
Nicholas, son of Wendelin and Mary Thomas was born on June 6, 1928 at Harvey, N.D., where he grew up and was educated. He worked at the Harvey Creamery until he enlisted in the United States Army on January 1, 1951 and served stateside and was honorably discharged on August 20, 1952. He then began several enlistments with the North Dakota Army National Guard at Camp Grafton, serving with the Company C 142D Engineer Battalion as a cook. With the rank of Master Sergeant he was discharged on September 1, 1957. Nicholas was united in marriage to Lena Alvershere on May 14, 1951 at Harvey. Lena followed Nicholas where ever the Army took him but eventually they made their home in Devils Lake. Lena passed away on May 11, 2010.
After his final enlistment, Nick began a career as a Butcher with Monteiths. He later worked for Christies and retired from Skyberg’s Meat. Nick also helped out a Royal Lanes and did carpentry work with his son Ron. Nick was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church, Eagles Lodge and the American Legion.
The influences of military life were very prevalent in the Thomas household. Nick believed in order and discipline. He was an excellent cook and always wanted a neatly set table and everything in its place. He loved to host the holiday meals for family. He played the role of “Grandpa” with the same enthusiasm and imagination that were a part of his grandchildren. You can pick up most any item or throw away, and Nick and the kids could make it into something fun. In early years, Nick loved to dance and after retirement he and Lena enjoyed driving around town in the evening, walking the dog, Nipper and time together with family and friends. They always made sure the grandchildren knew they were welcome at the house, and kept the “candy stash” well stocked.
Page 2 of 2 - Nick is survived by his daughter, Elaine and her husband, Paul Chepulis of Devils Lake; son, Michael Thomas also of Devils Lake; grandchildren, Nicole Faine, Bobbi Hakanson both of Devils Lake, Karen (Stan) Howen, Lakota, N.D. and Dawn (Brandon) Tufte, Carrington, N.D.; Craig (Mandy) Thomas, Devils Lake and Jamie Thomas, California; Sierra Thomas, Tanner Thomas, Devils Lake and Dana Thomas, Minnesota; great grandchildren, Brandi Ehlers, Jayden Faine, Jordyn Faine, Kolby Holtz, Jaret Holtz, Wyatt Hakanson, Michael Reeves, Kendra Schlosser, Kirsten Olson, Alex Tufte, Melody Tufte, Spencer Tufte and Braxton Thomas; brother-in-law, Kermit (Florence) Alvershere, Moorhead, MN and sister-in-law, Alice Wiest, Harvey, ND; several nieces and nephews and their children.
Nick was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Lena; son, Ron; grandson-in-law, Jon Olson; brothers and sisters, Sigmund and Louie Thomas and Kathryn Hieb, Frances Kronenberg and Mary Thomas.
Gilbertson Funeral Home, Devils Lake, is in charge of arrangements.