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Bernard E. "Tom" Thomas


1930 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Thomas, Bernard E. (Tom)
86, passed away on September 6, 2016 in Scottsdale, Arizona. He was born August 9, 1930 in Topeka, Kansas to Walter and Mary Annetta (McGovern) Thomas. He attended school in Topeka, Kansas, and graduated Hayden High School in 1948, and then attended St. Benedict's College in Atchison, Kansas. He enlisted in the Air Force and served in the Korean War. Bernie started his business career with the SS Kresege/Kmart Corporation, and was transferred to Streator, Illinois, where he met his wife of 57 years, Phyllis (Miller). Together they raised four children, and relocated to seventeen mid-western cities over his 41 year career. Bernie retired from Kmart Corporation as a Senior Vice President in 1991. Upon retirement, Bernie and Phyllis moved first to Savannah, Georgia and then to Scottsdale, Arizona in 2002. He was a parishioner of St. Maria Goretti Catholic Church in Scottsdale, AZ, and a member of the American Legion and The Landings Golf Club of Savannah, GA. Bernie enjoyed all sports, especially golf and tennis, his grand dog Max, as well as listening to Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, "cleaning the garage", and most importantly, enjoying his "Vodka Martini, on the rocks, with 3 olives!" Family, friends, and co-workers will all miss him, but will be comforted by the many wonderful memories that were shared. Bernie passed along three admiring qualities to everyone he touched in his life-integrity, loyalty, and a relentless work ethic. He will be greeted into eternal life by his wife Phyllis, his parents, Phyllis' brothers, William, Robert, and Bernard Miller. He is survived by his daughters, Kathleen, Sheri, and Lori, of Scottsdale, AZ, son and daughter-in-law, Bernie Thomas (Nancy) of Tempe, AZ, granddaughter Lauren Thomas Fowler (Parker) of Nashville, TN, grandson Mitchell Thomas of Tempe, AZ, sister-in-laws Veronica Miller of Streator, IL, Celine Miller of La Grange, IL, and many nieces, nephews, and great nieces and nephews. The family would also like to express their appreciation to the staff of Desert Flower Assisted Living, Amber Creek Memory Care, Honor Health, and Hospice of the Valley. A private memorial service for Bernie will held at a later date in Scottsdale, AZ. Charitable donations in Bernie Thomas' name may be made by mail to the Parkinson's Disease Foundation, 1359 Broadway, Suite 1509, New York, New York 10018, by telephone at 1-800-457-6676 or support.pdf.org. Condolences may be left on legacy.com
Published in The Arizona Republic on Sept. 18, 2016
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