Horace D. Thomas
1928 - 2020
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Horace D. Thomas

Born: July 14, 1928

Died: November 19, 2020

Horace D. Thomas, age 92, of Shabbona died Thursday, November 19, 2020 at the DeKalb County Rehabilitation and Nursing Center after an extended illness.

He was born July 14, 1928 in Rockford, the son of Rev. Willis D. and Sally May (Price) Thomas. Horace attended public schools in Rockford, Centerville, a one room school southwest of Rockford and Leaf River, IL. He graduated from Leaf River High School in 1946. He graduated from Northern Illinois in DeKalb, receiving both his B.S. in secondary education and his M.S. in school administration from Northern.

As a member of the U.S. Army Medical Service Corps during 1951-1953 in the Korean War, he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medical for his work as Chief, of the OCS Section at Camp Pickett, Virginia. Returning from the Army to his job in the Shabbona School System, he worked as a teacher and later elementary school principal from 1954 to 1964. In 1964 he accepted the position as Assistant Regional Superintendent of DeKalb County Schools and upon the retirement of Superintendent, D.E. Stitzel, ran for and was elected to the post of Regional Superintendent of DeKalb County Schools. Horace served in this capacity from 1972 to 1985 retiring in 1985.

He was active in many organizations among them, charter member and past president of the NIU Chapter of Phi Delta Kappa, charter member of the local chapter of SPEBSQSA (barber shop singing society), twenty eight year member and president of the Shabbona Library Board, served on the first Shabbona Zoning Commission, board member of the Shabbona Community Chest, the DeKalb County Family Service Agency and the DeKalb County Villages. Memberships in educational organizations included the National and Illinois Education Associations, National and Illinois Principals' Associations, Illinois and National Associations of School Administrators, Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents and many ad hoc committees in educational, civic and religious roles.

A member of the Shabbona United Church of Christ, Horace was a board member, Sunday School teacher and sang in the choir for forty years. He was a licensed lay minister in the United Church of Christ and preached in Northern Illinois Churches for seven years.

He is survived by his step daughter-in-law Coleen Crown of Loves Park, a grandaughter Meegan Crown of Houston, Texas, a niece Holly (Thomas) DeWitte Stoffa of North Aurora, IL, and two nephews Dan (Cathy) Thomas of Necedah, Wisconsin and Tim (Debbie) Thomas of Sykesville, Maryland.

He was preceded in death by his first wife Lois and his second wife Martha, his parents, stepmother Marie and brother Maynard.

Cremation has taken place.

Arrangements were completed by Jacobson Funeral Home in Shabbona.


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Published in The MidWeek News on Nov. 21, 2020.
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Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by Jacobson Funeral Home
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4 entries
November 28, 2020
Mr. Thomas was an exquisitely talented teacher. He drilled the fundamentals of the English language and American history and civics into our little junior high school brains. He was commanding and demanding. I am forever grateful for his having built templates in my head. He encouraged creativity. He had a strong sense of right and wrong......all with a good heart and sense of humor. Although we might not have thought it while diagramming sentences, we students were fortunate to have known him. His commitment to excellence was a gift. I thank him still.
Penny Ward Moser
Student
November 23, 2020
With Most Sincere Sympathy At This Time of Loss
Kenneth A Kamm
November 21, 2020
Horace and Martha were such a lovely couple and so very kind to Grandma Thomas. She enjoyed a long and loving correspondence with Maynard after moving to Arkansas.
Janet Roberson
November 21, 2020
We had the opportunity to meet Horace while visiting our mother at the DeKalb Rehabilitation and Nursing Center. On many occasions, he joined us and shared some of his life stories with us. It was a treat to hear this gentleman speak of events which truly made his a life well lived. Horace was not only an interesting person but he had a great sense of humor. Our lives are enriched for having the opportunity to spend some time with him. He will be remembered by the many whose lives he touched.
Regina Mass
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