Cover photo for Deacon James Thomas's Obituary
Deacon James Thomas Profile Photo
1935 James 2023

Deacon James Thomas

June 27, 1935 — March 14, 2023

Detroit Lakes, MN

To view the live stream of Deacon Jim's funeral mass, you can visit the following website. The livestream will show up about a 30 minutes before the service starts.    https://www.youtube.com/@holyrosarycatholicchurchde380/streams   In the event the link doesn't work please visit youtube.com and search for Holy Rosary Catholic Church, Detroit Lakes, MN, and click the 'live' button.

Due to the weather, Funeral Services for Deacon James Thomas have been rescheduled for Monday, April 10.  Mass of Christian Burial will be Monday, April 10 at 12PM in Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Detroit Lakes.  Visitation will be Monday at Holy Rosary starting at 10AM and will continue until the time of Mass.

James A. “Deacon Jim” Thomas, age 87, of Detroit Lakes, MN, died March 14, 2023, at Pelican Landing Assisted Living, Detroit Lakes.

Deacon Jim was born on June 27th, 1935, in Detroit Lakes, MN, to Isaac and Corrine Thomas. He attended school and graduated in Detroit Lakes. On August 9th, 1956, he was united in marriage to Anita “Susie” Hanson in Detroit Lakes. They made their home and raised a family in Detroit Lakes.

Jim worked at the Minnesota Department of Transportation (Land Management) prior to opening Thomas Fire Equipment and selling Pierce fire trucks. During these years, Jim voluntarily served on the Detroit Lakes Fire Department. He also served on the DL Public Utilities Commission and City Council. While he was busy, he also found time to coach boys’ hockey, referee high school varsity hockey games, and coach girls’ softball. He was an avid trap shooter at the Becker County Sportsmen Club, winning many trophies and awards over the years. He was a hunter and enjoyed the woods with his family. When Becky and Jerry bought their home, Jim soon started maple syruping, which is still a family tradition today.

One of his proudest moments was being ordained as a Deacon. He served the parish and its members faithfully. For 25 years, he served Holy Rosary Catholic Church and St. Mary of the Lakes Catholic Church.

Jim is survived by his three daughters, Teresa (Drew) Brooks, of Roseville, MN, Jane (Patrick) Thielen, of North Oaks, MN, and Rebecca (Jerry) Bentley of Detroit Lakes, MN; two sons, Paul (Diane) Thomas, of Burnsville, MN, and Sam (Lani) Thomas of Detroit Lakes, MN.  He is also survived by 15 grandchildren, Clare (Brent) Sexton, Rachel Brooks, Brittani (Dave) Curtis, Renata (Seth) Whitlock, Ben (Taylor) Thielen, Becca (Andy) Hancock, Macey (Nate)  Schaefbauer, Max Bentley, Dana (Eli) Rosendahl, Casey Schmit, Christian Schmit, Chloe Schmit, Jacob Thomas, Shea Thomas, and Tyson Thomas; 12 great-grandchildren, Avery Sexton,  Ceanna, Addilynn and Kai Curtis, Wayne and Titus Whitlock, Gradyn Handcock, Dax and Ella Schaefbauer, Emmy and Bria Rosendahl; one sister, Marie Sherman; and one brother, Michael (Barbara) Thomas.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Susie Thomas; one daughter, Elizabeth Thomas Schmit; one grandson, Bryan Thomas; one sister, Vivian Reed; and one brother, Isaac Thomas.

Mass of Christian Burial will be Monday, April 10, 2023, 12PM at Holy Rosary Catholic Church, Detroit Lakes, MN.  Visitation will be from 10 AM to 12 PM, on Monday, April 10, 2023, at Holy Rosary Catholic Church.  Interment will take place in the spring at Holy Rosary Catholic Cemetery in Detroit Lakes.  

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Deacon James Thomas, please visit our flower store.

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