The Fence Post obituary: Keith Arnold Thomas
February 16, 2018
Keith Arnold Thomas, 80
Feb. 17, 1937 – Jan. 19, 2018
Canon City, Colo.
Keith Arnold Thomas, 80, of Canon City, passed away in Tucson, Ariz., on Jan. 19, 2018, on his way to enjoying another winter traveling, finding old friends and making new.
Keith was born to Haydn and Gladys (Richards) Thomas in their home in Cotter, Iowa, on Feb. 17, 1937. He was raised on a farm in Crawfordsville, Iowa, and graduated from Crawfordsville High School in 1955. Keith served in the Army while attending Iowa Wesleyan College. He later earned his master of arts degree in education from Northeast Missouri State University. He was a passionate educator and worked closely with students and teachers as a fellow educator, coach and administrator until his retirement in 1992.
Keith married Sherry Sue Stull on May 24, 1959, who he met while attending Iowa Wesleyan. They were happily married for 38 years, until her death in 1998. They had three children together, Kirt, Jeff and Tracy.
He started his career teaching science, math and history and coaching a variety of girls and boys sports teams in Douds, Iowa, where his high school girl's basketball team achieved state recognition and competed for the championship. After spending the initial stages of his career in Iowa, Keith accepted the position of principal at the newly established Milliken Middle School (RE-5j) and moved his family to Johnstown, Colo., where he continued to coach girl's basketball.
Keith was the first principal at MMS after Johnstown and Milliken combined schools and Milliken High School was expanded to transition to a middle school supporting both towns. Keith was well known in Weld County as the announcer for the RHS sports teams, particularly football and boys basketball. He was the principal at MMS for 16 years before moving on to take a position with the Weld County BOCES where he continued his work to bring technology into the classroom and to promote the middle school educational model.
After serving three years with the BOCES, Keith accepted a position as an administrator at Canon City Jr. High School (Middle School), where he worked to implement the middle school model. He was with the Canon City Schools until his retirement in 1992. After retiring from the public school systems, Keith worked several summers (to keep out of Sherry's way) as a gate attendant and as the children's train operator at the Royal Gorge, entertaining children and parents alike. He was an avid golfer and fisherman, and enjoyed travelling, the outdoors, wood working and socializing with his friends at local diners and restaurants. He never met a stranger, and always enjoyed a good joke (especially if it was on someone else…).
Keith is survived by siblings, Carol (Ed) Hawkins and Kenneth (Peggy) Thomas; his children, Kirt (Becky Stephens) Thomas, Jeff (Sarah Logan) Thomas, and Tracy (Troy) Milburn; his grandchildren, Jared (Adrienne) Reck, Bree Thomas, Kaylee Thomas, Zane Schneider, Gavin Milburn, Josie Thomas, Hannah Thomas and Eli Thomas; his great-grandchildren, Joanne and Charlie Reck, and many other family and friends.
Keith is preceded in death by his wife, Sherry and his sister, Barbara Thomas.
A memorial service was held Feb. 3 at Christian Family Fellowship church at 1011 Monroe Ave., Canon City, Colo. A reception followed at his home in Canon City.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation or the American Heart Association. The family wishes to thank everyone for the kind thoughts and prayers in this difficult time. He was loved by many, and will be sorely missed.
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