Lewis Holmes Thomas, 74, passed away peacefully in his home in Arco, Idaho, on Wednesday, November 7, 2012.
Lewis was born to Chester Oliver Thomas and Alice Pratt on August 5, 1938, in Anthony, Kansas. They moved to Glenns Ferry, Idaho, in his first year of life. While living in Glenns Ferry, he became a big brother to Chester Oliver, Steven Wayne and Larry Joe.
While growing up, he participated in sports, football and track, where Lewis received many awards. He graduated from Glenns Ferry High School in 1957. Prior to graduating, he enlisted in the military, becoming active soon after graduation. He served in Fort Ord, California; Fort Lewis, Washington; and Fort Chaffey, Arkansas. While in Fort Chaffey, he had the amazing opportunity to meet his idol, Elvis Presley.
After being released from active duty, he returned to Glenns Ferry, met and married Geneva Good. To that union, two children were born, Pamela and Shelley. The couple was later divorced. Lewis later met the love of his life, Louise Haney of Moore, Idaho, in Mountain Home. They were married in Elko, Nevada, on October 21, 1961.
While residing in Mountain Home, Lewis worked for Aetna Security, where he was lieutenant over three bases of Mountain Home Air Force Base. In July 1962, they moved to Arco, where they raised six children together, Gaylene (Sidney) Morrison, Bozo Lewis (Melody) Thomas, Sherlyn Pebbles (Larry) Wheeler, David (Miki) Thomas, Brenda (Pat) Carnahan and Billy Thomas.
While living in Arco and Moore, Lewis worked various jobs, farm work in potatoes, then became employed through the Labor Union, where he worked various jobs at the INL site.
Lewis enjoyed the outdoors, hunting and fishing with his brothers, nephews, sons and grandkids. Lewis enjoyed playing Santa with Arco Fire Department for several years, working with the community kids in the Little League programs, umpiring and refereeing. He became known for his red socks and telling kids to tie their shoes. Lewis inspired many kids with his messages from the heart and not leaving any child unable to play in sports, many times paying entry fees out of his own pocket. He was loved by many from Lost River Valley, Arco, Mackay and Howe.
His is survived by his wife, Louise, eight children, 14 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; father and mother-in-law, Maurice and Clover Haney; and baby brother, Larry Joe.
He became terminally ill with COPD and lost that battle. He will be greatly missed by those he touched.
Services will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, November 16, at Butte High School Auditorium. Family will meet with friends there from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.
In lieu of flowers the family, would like donations to be made to the Arco Community Parks & Recreation Program.
Services are under the direction of the Lost River Funeral Chapel.