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Noel "Dean" Thomas

1926 - 2019
Noel “Dean” Thomas

July 3, 1926 - Nov. 26, 2019

SOUTH BEND, IN - Dean was born to Oscar and Marie (Straughn) Thomas in Mishawaka on July 3, 1926 and passed away in his residence at the Sanctuary at St. Paul's. They preceded him in death along with his older brother Dale and younger brother Darwin. Also preceding him was his beloved daughter, Marcia Diane and youngest son, Kevin Andrew.

Dean grew up in Mishawaka, living on East Broadway in a small, neat 2 bedroom bungalow with “more than enough” room for a family of five during the Great Depression. After graduation from Mishawaka High School in 1944 he immediately joined the Navy and was based at The Banana River Naval Air Station, Florida where he received Sea Search and Rescue Training on the aircraft known as the Martin PBM. A picture of that plane still hangs on his bedroom wall. He completed his duty in Pearl Harbor and was discharged at the end of the War. He was proud of his military service.

Upon returning to Mishawaka after the War, Dean became a retail salesman selling everything from men's clothing to sporting goods and hardware. He also worked for several years at the GAS COMPANY where he sold gas refrigerators and appliances. He was also a Manager and salesmen at Robertson's Department Store in South Bend. After a brief retirement from Robertson's he worked as a custodian for the Mishawaka Schools.

Dean took great pride in his corner house on 4th and Virgil Streets that was built for the family in 1956. He loved working in his yard, sitting on the patio, or just puttering in the garage. Rainy days were spent in his basement workshop where he could enjoy smoking his pipe and drinking a cold beer.

Dean was a great husband to wife Fianna (Harrington) Thomas for 73 years. She survives along with sons Gregory (Tammy) Thomas of Sun City West, Arizona and Daniel (Nancy) Thomas of Mishawaka. He is also survived by 11 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren.

The family would like to extend their appreciation to the caring and attentive staff of St. Paul's. Their kindness continues to be a great comfort to Fianna.

Funeral arrangements and services will be held at Bubb Funeral Chapel, 3910 N. Main Street, Mishawaka. Viewing will take place at Noon TODAY. Funeral services will follow at 2PM..
Published in South Bend Tribune on Nov. 30, 2019
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