Gary Lee Thomas, 86, of Harrisburg, passed away at home on the morning of Sunday, April 2, 2023. He was born on February 28, 1937, to Reverend E.W. “Brudge” and Alpha Thomas of Eldorado, IL. After graduating from high school in Eldorado, Gary married Faye Midkiff of Norris City, IL on November 26, 1955. Gary and Faye had a very loving marriage that lasted 66 and one-half years, until Faye’s death on May 13, 2022. They had two children, Greg Thomas and Cindy Simpson, both of Harrisburg. Gary worked as an adjuster for Country Companies while living in Anna, Il for several years. He then took a job with Metropolitan Life Insurance and moved to Harrisburg in 1967. Gary stayed with Metropolitan for 26 years until his retirement in 1993, winning many awards for high sales numbers while with the company. Gary was an avid hunter and fisherman. In 1964 he killed the state record deer with a bow, and the record held for a year. He especially loved to crappie fish, and he and Faye spent many weeks camping and fishing at Barkley Lake. Gary and Faye loved to travel and visited all 50 states. Their favorite trip was a two-month long drive through Alaska in their motorhome. Gary enjoyed all aspects of firearms, from target shooting to computing ballistics charts, to loading his own ammunition. He enjoyed his family and grandchildren and was a Christian by faith. Gary is survived by his children, Greg (Lisa) Thomas, and Cindy (Richard) Simpson, grandchildren Hilary (Matt) Ford of Harrisburg, Clint Simpson (Blaine Campbell) of Evansville, IN, Melissa Simpson (Paul Tikusis) of Belgrade, MT and Garrett (Jami) Thomas of Harrisburg. Gary was blessed with six great-grandchildren, Lilli and Jack Ford, Haley Mead and Marshall Tikusis, and Gage and Avery Thomas. He is also survived by sister and brother-in-law Sandra and Ron Haddock of Dallas, TX, brother-in-law Bill Smith of Norris City, IL, sister-in-law Esther Coupal also of Norris City, many nieces and nephews, and lifelong friend Paul Brockschmidt of Eldorado.
Gary was preceded in death by his parents and his in-laws, Leamon and Adella Midkiff.
Funeral services will be held at 3:30 p.m. Friday, April 7, 2023, at Colonial Terrace Funeral Home in Eldorado with Reverend Chris Winkleman officiating. Visitation will be 1:30 p.m. until service time on Friday. Burial will be in Lindale Cemetery. Condolences and expressions of sympathy may be sent to the family via the website www.colonialterracefuneralhome.com
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