Leland Ray Thomas
Born to James Thomas and Rosalie (Fochtman) Thomas on January 5, 1945, he entered into his final rest on March 25, 2022, in Morgan City, Louisiana, with his beloved wife Elizabeth (Betty) by his side.
Leland was the oldest of three children: older brother to Marvin (now deceased) and much loved younger sister Deloris (Thomas) Jackson of Wallace. He lived his younger life in Custer County, NE, eventually moving to Wallace, NE., where he graduated high school and met the love of his life, Betty.
The two were married on October 7, 1966, and had many adventures together for seven years before finally achieving their dream of having a child, son Brian Thomas of Bellevue, NE.
Having received his agronomy certificates for both the states of Nebraska and Colorado despite knowing nothing about peach trees, he put this education to work in a variety of contexts, first at Huntley, where he was an elevator manager, eventually moving on to Fairfield, where they were blessed to extend their family with two other children, Michael Thomas and Lisa (Thomas) Perez of New York.
Leland and his family settled in Grant, NE., in 1981, where he was to become an active participant in the community. He was a member of the local Lions Club, becoming the first in the area to achieve the prestigious Melvin Jones Fellowship and becoming a district governor over Region R; he also participated in many community outreach projects.
Thomas was a member of the Grant United Methodist Church, where he was on the Board of Trustees and made many friends.
A dedicated family man, Leland was an advisor, teacher, savior, friend and cheerleader. He enjoyed participating in Boy Scouts with his sons Brian and Michael, also attending the children's many sporting events. Leland truly enjoyed being a father and, in 1999, adopted the last of his children, Natasha Thomas of Fargo, North Dakota. They shared many good times together.
Leland likes to roam wherever his feet would take him. In that vein, he shared many amazing trips with his wife Betty, including a month-long tour of the South Pacific. He also enjoyed traveling with his children and, ultimately, his grandchildren. Leland's last vision of adventure, he wanted to tour the country in an RV and was able to do that prior to his death at the age of 77.
Leland was a man of deep faith and integrity. When he offered his help, he did so with sincerity and generosity. Leland tried to live his adult life by the following quote, "Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the ways you can, In all the places you can, At all the times you can, To all the people you can, As long as you ever can." Leland's life remains a great example of the work of grace in our lives to his family. And so it is that his family finds great comfort in Leland's final trip being the one that surpasses all his others.
Leland is survived by his wife Elizabeth (Betty) of Grant; children, Brian (Aimee) Thomas, Michael Thomas, Lisa (Thomas) Perez, and Natasha Thomas; Grandchildren, Joshua Bro, Jose Barreda, Savannah (Kevin) Fries, Laesha Thomas, Madison Thomas, Taliyah Brown, Junior Brown, Taesha Walker, DeShay, Gianni Walker, Journi Thomas, and Riley Thomas (deceased); Great-grandchildren Alexander Fries, Katherine Fries (deceased), and Evelyn Fries.
He is preceded in death by parents James and Rosalie Thomas, brother Marvin Thomas, grandson Riley Thomas, Great-granddaughter Katherine Fries, and many aunts and uncles.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the Grant Lions Club in Leland's memory, and you may write the Leland Thomas memorial.
Memorial services will be held on Saturday, April 9, at 10:00 am at the Grant United Methodist Church. Inurnment directly following at the Morning View Cemetery in Wallace, NE. All are welcome to attend a luncheon hosted by the family following services at Grant United Methodist Church in the Fellowship Hall.