Rick D. Thomas, 71, of Gering, passed away Friday, October 29, 2021 at Regional West Medical Center surrounded by the love of family, friends and caregivers both near and far. Cremation has taken place and there will be no visitation. A private family inurnment will be held at a later date. Memorials may be made to the donor’s choice or to the family for designation at a later date.
Rick was born to George R. and Mary (Keller) Thomas on March 27, 1950 in Deadwood, South Dakota.
Rick graduated from Scottsbluff High School in 1968 and from Western Nebraska Community College in 1970. He attended the University of Nebraska in 1971 just prior to joining the United States Navy. He served aboard the USS Newport News from 1972 to 1975.
He married Sandee Shirley on January 12, 1973, nineteen days after returning from Vietnam. They moved to Norfolk, Virginia where they lived for three years and started their family. Their children include Aimee (Rob) Roos of Aurora, Colorado and Kelly (Jaime) Thomas of Aurora, Colorado. Their grandchildren include Kelsey, Isaac, Jolie, Tyler, Kaleigh, Abbie and Brayden. Rick’s pride and joy were his children and grandchildren.
Rick had an extensive work history, most notable was a 30 year career at Safety-Kleen Corp. in Gering.
He was preceded in death by his granddaughter, Kelsey; sister, Bonnie Sorensen; parents, George and Mary Thomas; and in-laws, Lowell and Marie Shirley.