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Idaho Enterprise

Garry Lee Thomas

Our beloved Father and Grandfather, Garry Lee Thomas passed away peacefully on Tuesday, June 11, 2024, at his home surrounded by his family. Garry was born on September 23, 1940, in Pocatello, Idaho, to Wayne Morgan and Ann W. Tate Thomas. He was born prematurely and weighed less than 3 lbs. He was so tiny that they used men's handkerchiefs as diapers, and he slept in a shoe box on the door of the wood heated oven.

Garry lived in Salt Lake City, Utah until he was approximately 8 years old. His family then moved to the Malad, Idaho area, where they made their home. Garry learned to work hard and play even harder. He was the oldest of three children, Robert W. and LouAnn. Gary and Bob were less than a year apart, best friends and the ultimate partners in mischief. Garry graduated from Malad High School, where he learned a love for auto mechanics and was a Wrestling State Champion his senior year. Garry had a nice tenor voice and sang Waltzing Matilda as part of a barbershop quartet during his high school graduation.

Garry loved to participate in many different activities. In his younger years, some of his activities were a little more dangerous and adrenaline producing like bull riding and drag racing. Garry loved to be outdoors and enjoyed hunting, fishing, gardening, and bowling.

Garry went through the Machinist Certification program at Idaho State University and added machining and welding to his skillset. He joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when he was 21 years old after missionaries knocked on his door and taught him the gospel. Garry later joined the Navy as a SeaBee and deployed to Vietnam for two consecutive tours. While in Vietnam, Garry worked on the motor pool where he was trained as a diesel mechanic. While serving in Vietnam, he dreamt about a girl he had known most of hid life but never spent much time with and that was our mom, Rosemary Hill Thomas. Garry said he knew she was single, a good LDS girl and she was beautiful, so he decided to write her a letter. They fell in love through those letters and later married in the Logan Utah LDS Temple on September 17, 1970.

Garry and Rosemary started out in Pleasant Grove Utah for the first year of their marriage, before moving to Soda Springs Idaho, where they had their two oldest children, Karianne, and Mathew Garry. Garry worked as a diesel mechanic at the mines, was an assistant wrestling coach at the high school and drove a tow truck. He had dreams of owning his own auto mechanic garage, so the family moved to the Pocatello area where they welcomed two more daughters, Shannon Eileen, and Katryn Lynn. The auto mechanic garage did not go as planned and Garry went to work at FMC in the Heavy Equipment group where he worked for the next 26 years. Their house became their forever home where they raised their children and welcomed grandchildren.

Our dad was able to fix anything and was often the family/neighborhood mechanic. Even when he could not do the work himself anymore, he could talk you through what needed to be done. Dad often came up with tools and ways to make things easier and then would make them for his friends and neighbors as well. Most of our vacations were spent camping and fishing. Mom and dad spent several summers in Island Park after he retired. Dad played in several bowling leagues over the years and became quite accomplished. Our dad was known for his funny sayings and dry sense of humor. He was kind and generous. He loved his children and grandchildren. Dad was very patriotic and taught us to be so as well. He was proud of his military service and always had his SeaBee's hat on.

Garry is survived by his children Karianne (Todd) Ramirez, Shannon (Mike) Doyle, Katryn (Scott) Morley, Jullie (Bob) McBratney and his 17 grandchildren. Garry is proceeded in death by his sweetheard, Rosemary H. Thomas, son Mathew G. Thomas, brother Robert W. Thomas, sister-in-law Karen Thomas Wharton, brother-in-law Jeffrey Thomas, his parents Wayne & Ann Thomas, and his in-laws David & Karine Hill.

A viewing was held on Monday, June 17, from 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. at 333 Treaty Hwy., US 91, Pocatello, Idaho. A funeral was held on June 17 at 11:00 a.m. at the same location. Burial with military honors followed at 3:00 p.m. at the Malad City Cemetery, in Malad, Idaho.

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