(Feb. 3, 2009)
Roy D. Thomas, 82, died Feb. 3 at the Powell Valley Care Center.
Roy was born in Kansas on July 4, 1926, to Roy and Maude Thomas. He was the fourth of five children. He worked on the farm as a boy, riding his work horse to a one-room school in the winter. On Saturdays, he would ride to town to charge the battery for the radio so he could listen to the Grand Ole Opry show that evening. While in town he would go to the matinee cowboy picture show.
He joined the Army during World War II. While serving in the Philippines he learned to operate heavy equipment, which he continued throughout his lifetime. His love of country music led him to “round up some guys” to form a band to pick and sing during off-duty times while stationed overseas.
After his discharge from the Army he headed west to Wyoming. He met a “little red-headed girl” in Cody. When he asked her to go to a picnic with him, she said he had to ask her dad. Roy often said that was one of the scariest things he ever had to do. Roy and Lurraine were married on Feb.12, 1949, in Cody. Roy loved the mountains of Wyoming and hunted and fished with his father-in-law and brother-in-law, Carl and Earl Sauerwein.
Roy operated heavy equipment throughout the Big Horn Basin. He leveled many of the fields around Powell for farming, built locations for drilling rigs in Elk Basin and worked on various road construction jobs. Roy and Lurraine worked in Sunlight Basin before they had children. He ran the Caterpillar tractor, building roads, and Lurraine was the camp cook.
Roy owned and operated a farm on the Willwood from the mid-1970s until his retirement. During the winters he worked at the Powell Auction yard.
Coming from the flats of Kansas, he loved the mountains of Wyoming. He lived in Cody, Powell, and Ralston with Lurraine until her death. Roy then moved to the Powell Valley Care Center in December 2007.
He is survived by a daughter, Rosemary (Daniel) Barnes of Albany, Ore.; a brother, James R. Thomas of Seattle; five grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
Roy was preceded in death by his wife, Lurraine, and a son, James E. Thomas.
Funeral services will be held Monday, Feb. 9, 2009, at 10 a.m. at Thompson Funeral Home. Viewing will be one hour prior to services. Burial will be in the Crown Hill Cemetery.