Joseph ThomasJanuary 21, 2016
Mr. Joseph John Thomas, age 92, of Gravois Mills, passed away Sunday, January 17, 2016, at his home. He was born May 30, 1923, in Jefferson City, Missouri, the son of Elias and Sarah Kalaf Thomas. Joe attended Immaculate Conception School in Jefferson City and graduated from St. Peter's High School in Jefferson City. He served in the 775th Tank Battalion of the United States Army during World War II. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, the Good Conduct Medal and the Philippine Liberation Ribbon with one Bronze Star. After his time in the service, Joe moved to Versailles, Missouri. In the early 1940's, Joe owned and operated the Kaiser-Frazer dealership and also managed the Royal Theatre in Versailles for many years. He owned and operated Thomas TV and later Thomas Furniture in Versailles for over 40 years. He was instrumental in bringing satellite television to the Lake of the Ozarks. He also invented and manufactured the fishing lure, "Helluva Jig". He was truly a man of vision and was an active member of the Versailles business community. Joe was a member of the St. Patrick Catholic Church in Laurie and a longtime member of the Knights of Columbus. He was also a member of the Morgan County American Legion Post 104 for the last 69 years. During his life, he enjoyed hunting, fishing, golf and playing cards as well as making regular visits to the casino in Boonville. Survivors include: Judy and Dak Krattli of Gravois Mills, Missouri; his nieces, Ann Slay and Sara Quinn (Dan) of Columbia, Missouri, Joyce Clarkston (Darrell) of Jefferson City, Missouri, Margie Pritchett (Dan) of San Jose, California; nephews, James J. Thomas (Betsy) of Jefferson City, Missouri, Gary Thomas (Cristine) of Springfield, Missouri; and numerous great and great-great-nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Elias and Sarah Kalaf, Billie Anderson; two brothers, James G. Thomas and Louis Thomas; a sister, Victoria Thomas Blaser; and a nephew, Stephen Thomas. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 a.m., Friday, January 22, at the St. Patrick Catholic Church in Laurie with Father Patrick Dolan celebrating. The family will receive friends from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. Friday at the church. Graveside services and interment with full military honors will be held at 3:00 p.m. Friday in the Resurrection Cemetery in Jefferson City. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to the St. Patrick Catholic Church in Laurie. Expressions of sympathy may be left online at www.kidwellgarber.com. Arrangements are under the direction and care of the Kidwell-Garber Laurie/Sunrise Beach Chapel.