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Vernon "Vern" Thomas 87 of Dubuque, Iowa passed away June 24th, 2019 at Stonehill Care Center in Dubuque.
Funeral service will be at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, June 27th, 2019 at Leonard Funeral Home and Crematory, 2595 Rockdale Road with Rev. Michael Schueller officiating. Visitation will held from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 26th at Leonard Funeral Home and Crematory. Burial and Military Honors by American Legion Post #6 will follow at Mount Calvary Cemetery.
He was born on September 3, 1931 to Carl and Mary (Hanson) Thomas in Dubuque County. He married Dorothy Kremer on February 7, 1953 in Dubuque, IA, and she preceded him in death on February 10, 2003.
Vern served in the United States Army during the Korean War. He worked primarily in construction and truck driving until 1960, at which time he began work at John Deere Dubuque Works.
He and Dorothy lived in Dubuque until 1963, moving at that time to St. Donatus, IA. Following the incorporation of St. Donatus in 1965, Vernon served as the town's first mayor. In 1970 he left John Deere Works, and he and Dottie commenced farming in Tete Des Morts Twp, Jackson Co, In 1976 they quit farming and Vern returned to the trucking industry as a self-employed owner/operator.
In January 1991 he and Dottie purchased a restaurant that for many years operated under the name "Travelers Cafe". The business was appropriately later renamed "Dottie's Cafe". Vern remained active in the trucking business until 1993 at which time he officially retired. Both Vern and Dottie then got involved in crafts with Vern being in charge of forming, firing and painting/glazing of ceramics. Vern spent many winter months in his home in Leesburg, Florida.
Surviving are his 11 children; Sandy (John) Bechen, Dubuque, Sharon ( George) Abresch, Clear Lake IA., Steve (Julie) Thomas, Louisburg, WI., Sheila White, Dubuque, Stanley (Carla) Thomas, Peosta, IA., Sally (Rick) Lang, Dubuque, Sharlene ( Mick) Cornwell, Manchester, IA., Scott (Alesia) Thomas, Dubuque, Shawn (Peggy) Thomas, Dubuque, Stacey (Jim) LaPage, Sherrill, IA., Suzanne (Randy) Ristau, Cascade, IA. He has 41 Grandchildren and many great grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife Dottie, his parents; 5 grandchildren; John Jr. Bechen, James Brom, Michelle LaPage, Michael Ristau, Josh Kirkpatrick. Sisters Lou (Steuer)Hess and Marie Thomas.
The family would like to make a special THANK YOU to the wonderful staff at Stonehill Care Center and Hospice of Dubuque.