Floyd Laverne Thomas, 91, passed away on October 18, 2020, in Independence, Missouri, surrounded by his family.
Floyd was born at home in Henry County, Missouri, on June 29, 1929, the second of nine children to Howard Thomas and Viola Sullivan Thomas. As a youth, he worked hard on the family farms, and as he became a teenager he spent a few summers in Idaho working in irrigation ditches. He graduated from Montrose High School and began his decades-long career as a truck driver. One day, Floyd stopped for a meal at a little restaurant in Appleton City, where he struck up a conversation with his server, Martha Zeiler. That chance encounter ultimately led to a marriage on March 3, 1951, and a lifelong partnership with his one true love.
Floyd was employed with Jack Cooper Transport for over 44 years. His role was to haul cars to local dealerships, which enabled him to spend lots of time close to home. He served as a union steward with the Teamsters Local 41 for seventeen years, and he was also awarded the title of Missouri Driver of the Year.
He manicured his lawn with pride, spent countless hours on woodworking and handmade crafts, and frequently took walks around the neighborhood. He was a man of few words, but when he spoke, people listened. The breadth of his intelligence ranged to repairing anything, to remembering every family member’s birthday, to knowing the fastest route from point A to point B in the Kansas City area.
He cherished the memories made on family vacations, especially to Hawaii, to Washington to see Martha’s family, or trips with his grandchildren. Whether it was baseball, football, basketball, or a tractor pull, he never missed a sports game that his grandkids or great-grandkids participated in. Family gatherings were made extra-special when he treated everyone to his famous homemade chocolate ice cream.
Floyd was strong, yet tender- his heart overfilled with love for his family and his friends. He and Martha would often share in a cup of coffee and conversation with their “McDonalds Friends” group. He was a Christian by faith with a strong moral compass.
As his family, we always knew we held a special place in his heart, as he does in ours. He touched so many lives in such a positive way – the outpouring of prayers and kind wishes during his struggle were proof of a man much loved. His passing has left a hole in our hearts never to be filled; however, we thank God for having given us the privilege to have been a part of his life.
He is survived by his wife of 69 years Martha Thomas; son Darrell Thomas (wife Cindi); daughter Diana Bullard (husband Bob); four grandchildren Nikki Mershon (husband Tim), Stacy Scott (husband Tanner), Jay Beemont (wife Karen) and Chantz Thomas (wife Sabrina); six great-grandchildren Adam Mershon, Jaiden Beemont, Brayden Beemont, Harper Beemont, Devyn Thomas, and Chantz F. Thomas; three brothers Marvin Thomas (wife Judy), Ward Thomas, and Dennis Thomas (wife Alma); two sisters Donna Pratt (husband Tom) and Evelyn Huke; many nieces, nephews, extended family, and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents Howard and Viola Thomas, three siblings Willard Thomas, Glen Thomas, and Marilyn Cook, and sister-in-law Betty Thomas.
A visitation will be held from 1-2pm, with funeral service to follow at 2pm, both on Saturday, October 24, 2020, at Speaks Suburban Chapel, 18020 E. 39th St. in Independence, MO. He will be laid to rest in Buckner Hill Cemetery following the service.
In his honor, the family suggests contributions to the American Heart Association. Online condolences may be expressed at www.speakschapel.com (Arr: Speaks Suburban Chapel 816-373-3600)