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1929 Don 2024

Don Thomas

April 25, 1929 — January 6, 2024

Van Wert

Don Gene Thomas, 94, of Van Wert, died Saturday morning, January 6, 2024, at the Van Wert Manor.

He was born April 25, 1929, in Van Wert, to Forest Andrew Thomas and Violet Caroline (Brotherwood) Heath.

A 1948 Van Wert High School graduate, he married his high school sweetheart, Mary Ellen Bartlett. She passed away March 1, 2020. Together, they shared over 67 years of marriage.

Don started working for the Pennsylvania Railroad. He later transitioned to law enforcement- serving as Van Wert County Sherriff from 1968-1980. After serving Van Wert County, he returned to the railroad- retiring from Conrail.

He was a United States Army veteran serving in the Korean War. Don was a member of the Van Wert American Legion, VFW, Masonic Lodge, Elks Lodge and Moose Lodge. Having been raised at the Marsh Foundation, Don recently returned and participated in their 100 year anniversary celebration. He also volunteered his time at the Van Wert County Historical Society Railroad exhibits.

He is survived by 4 children, Kevin (Deb Hire) Thomas of Van Wert, Kay (Jim) Carter of Ft Wayne, Ronda (Mark Flores) Thomas of Los Angeles and Jan (Todd Plummer) Osenbaugh of Lima; 7 grandchildren, Brian Thomas, Dara (John) Bennett, Jade Osenbaugh, Jason Osenbaugh, Kim (Dane) Brandt-Lubart, Max Earl and Ava Flores; and 7 great grandchildren.

Don was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Mary Ellen Thomas; a son, Rodney Thomas; brothers, Forest Andrew Thomas and Robert Thomas; and sisters, Violet Marie Eshmeyer and Helen Louise Brotherwood.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 AM on Saturday, January 13, 2024, at Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home & Crematory, Van Wert, with Pastor Stuart Wyatt, officiating. Burial, with military honors, will immediately follow in Woodland Cemetery, Van Wert.

Visitation will be from 2-6 PM on Friday, January 12, 2024, at the funeral home. Also, one hour prior to services on Saturday.

In lieu of flowers, memorials in memory of Don may be directed to the Van Wert County Historical Society.

Online condolences may be expressed at www.alspachgearhart.com.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home & Crematory, 722 S. Washington St, Van Wert, Ohio 45891.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Don Thomas, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Viewing

Friday, January 12, 2024

2:00 - 6:00 pm (Eastern time)

Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home & Crematory

722 S Washington St, Van Wert, OH 45891

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Funeral Service

Saturday, January 13, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home & Crematory

722 S Washington St, Van Wert, OH 45891

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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