John William Thomas, born on Oct. 2, 1951 in Detroit, passed away surrounded by his family on Oct. 11, 2017 at Munson Medical Center's Hospice House in Traverse City. John was the son of Donald and Margaret Thomas, of Grand Rapids.
John will be missed by many family members and friends for his sweet generosity and subtle humor.
He was preceded in death by his father.
In addition to his mother, those surviving him are daughters, Meagan Rene (Ryan) Wells and Micha Elizabeth Bancroft; grandchildren, Oliver Patrick, Addison Rachel and Eli William Bancroft and Ronin Daniel Wells, all of Traverse City. Also surviving are sisters, Nancy (Mark) Toteff and Sarah Thomas; nephew, Andrew Robertson; nieces, Ashley (Joe) Forton and Kelsey Sharfer; and several great-nephews and nieces and cousins. Others surviving John include aunt, June Christensen; lifelong friend, Debbie Douglas; and former wife and friend, Jacquie Thomas.
John attended North Farmington High School, where he excelled in football, basketball and baseball. He was lifelong athlete and sportsman, enjoying tennis, golf fishing and racquetball. He went to Michigan State University, where he was a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in 1974. He remained a faithful alum and a rabid fan of all things Spartan. He added the Beach Bums to his favorites list and was often seen with grandkids basking in the light of Suntan and Sunburn.
He had a long and successful career in food service management and ownership prior to his latest career as founder and CEO of Windward Transportation. He enjoyed creating a family environment for his employees and is often referred to as "the best boss I have ever had."
"Grandpa J" had an extraordinary ability to find the perfect gift for the occasion and took great pride in winning "best gift" award at every gifting event. He was famous for, and quite fond of, delivering flowers for any occasion, and sometimes for no reason at all. He treated the staff at the Flower Station with chocolates, resulting in his flowers being the prettiest performance bouquets at concerts, dance recitals and theater performances.
An open house visitation celebrating John's life will be held for family and friends on Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, from 5 to 8 p.m., at the Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home, 305 Sixth St., Traverse City, MI 49684.
In lieu of flowers, please direct any memorial funds to the Wounded Warrior Project or the charity of your choice.
Please feel free to share your thoughts and memories with John's family at www.reynolds-jonkhoff.com.
The family is being cared for by the Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home and Cremation Services.
Published on November 5, 2017