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780 12th St. SW
P.O. Box 822
Le Mars, IA 51031
Phone: 712-546-4903
Fax: 712-546-4710
Kenneth Thomas

Kenneth Jens Thomas

Thursday, April 20th, 1939 - Saturday, September 26th, 2020
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Kenneth J. Thomas, 81, of Quimby, Iowa passed away on Saturday, September 26, 2020 at the Heartland Care Center in Marcus, Iowa. Funeral services will take place at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, October 1, 2020 at Faith Lutheran Church in Marcus, Iowa. Masks and social distancing are recommended. Rev. Alan Cummins will officiate. Burial will follow at Marcus – Amherst Cemetery. Visitation will begin at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at the Earnest – Johnson Funeral Home in Marcus. The family will be present to greet friends from 5-7 p.m. with a prayer service at 7:00 p.m. There will also be one hour of visitation at the church prior to the funeral service on Thursday.

Kenneth Jens Thomas was born on April 20, 1939 near Oldham, South Dakota, the son of Cecil and Ella (Baggesgaard) Thomas. He was raised on a farm near Oldham and graduated from Oldham High School in 1957. Following high school, Kenneth enrolled at the General Beadle Teachers’ College (now Dakota State University) in Madison, South Dakota where he received a degree in education. His first occupation was managing Ken’s Hilltop Drive-Inn in Madison. It was at the drive-inn that he met Viola Wieckert. They were wed on June 26, 1964 in Madison.

Kenneth began teaching physical science, chemistry and physics in Estelline, South Dakota. He would later teach in Sioux Rapids and Schaller, Iowa. The family moved to Marcus, Iowa in 1967 and Kenneth taught at Marcus High School. He left teaching in 1981 and became a reinsurance adjuster for Grinnell Mutual, a position he held during the summers while teaching. Kenneth and Viola moved to Quimby, Iowa in 1987. He later retired from Grinnell Mutual and worked part-time for Buena Vista Mutual in Storm Lake, Iowa.

He was an active member of Faith Lutheran Church in Marcus. At one time he served as treasurer of the Cherokee County Conservation Board. In earlier years, Kenneth had a “hobby farm” where he raised cattle and hogs. He also enjoyed the outdoors and hunting, woodworking and playing cards.

Grateful to have shared his life is a son, Mike and his wife, Sue and their sons, Marcus and Mason of Roland, IA; a son, Brian and his wife, Renee and their daughter, Allison of Bradenton, FL; sisters, Mary Lingbeck of Madison, SD and Cecelia Sweeney and her husband, Tim of Sioux Falls, SD; a brother, David Thomas of Rapid City, SD; along with nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Viola on June 3, 2006; a sister-in-law, Bev Thomas; and a brother-in-law, Joe Lingbeck.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Wednesday, September 30th, 2020 | 2:00pm - 8:00pm
    Wednesday, September 30th, 2020 2:00pm - 8:00pm
    Earnest - Johnson Funeral Home
    206 E. Pine
    MARCUS, IA 51035
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    The family will be present to greet friends from 5-7 p.m. with a prayer service at 7:00 p.m. There will also be one hour of visitation at the church prior to the funeral service on Thursday.
  • Service

    Thursday, October 1st, 2020 | 10:30am
    Thursday, October 1st, 2020 10:30am
    Faith Lutheran Church
    209 W. Cedar St.
    MARCUS, IA 51035
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Rev. Alan Cummins
  • Interment

    Marcus Amherst Cemetery
    E. Highland Drive
    MARCUS, IA 51035
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Reception

    The Old Panhead
    314 N Main St
    MARCUS, IA 51035
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Private Condolence
Key Cooperative Board of Directors, With heartfelt condolences, Jeff, Drita, Nicholas , and other have sent flowers to the family of Kenneth Jens Thomas.
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Lisa & Tom, Jack & Ana (Wright & Dombkowski)

Posted at 06:09pm
Sent with love and remembrance,

3 trees were planted in the memory of Kenneth Thomas

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Liz pfeifle

Posted at 03:07pm
My prayers are with you and your family I was honored to be Ken's pastor for 14 years I will remember him as faithfully attending worship services but more so I remember him as a kind loving man who touched many lives not only when he was teaching but also at church and in his work in the insurance industry May you be comforted knowing that Ken will live on in your memories until the day you see him again pastor Liz pipely

John Dixson

Posted at 01:54pm
John Dixson
I wanted to express my heartfelt sympathy to the Thomas family for your loss. Mr. Thomas was my chemistry and physics teacher in the early 1970's at Marcus High School. His passion and enthusiasm for the sciences was instrumental in my career path in chemistry, as well as my brother Jay and sister Janet, who also went on to earn chemistry degrees. I will be forever grateful to Mr. Thomas for the education I received under his guidance.
John Dixson
Professor (Emeritus) of Chemistry
Black Hills State University

Wade Sheeler

Posted at 12:33pm
My wife and I both had the pleasure of working with Ken when he was employed by Grinnell Mutual. He was always a very kind man. God bless him.

Wade & Danene Sheeler

Heartfelt Sympathies Store

Posted at 02:31pm
Remembering you and "Kenneth Thomas" in our minds and in our hearts.
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Mauer - Johnson Funeral Home
780 12th St. SW
Le Mars, IA 51031
Earnest - Johnson Funeral Home
206 East Pine
Marcus, IA 51035
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313 Barre St.
Kingsley, IA 51028