Jan. 17, 1945 – Nov. 26, 2017
Bruce Allen Thomas, age 72, passed away peacefully at his home in Elliston with his wife Cheryl and sons Bruce Jr. and Brandon by his side on November 26th, 2017, after a courageous battle with cancer.
Bruce was born on January 17th, 1945 to William and Mayme (Engler) Thomas in Kellogg, Idaho, joining brothers William, Robert and Barney. The family moved to Elliston when he was two years old and he was soon after was blessed with a sister, Sue.
Bruce spent most of his youth in Elliston, where he attended school. On November 30th, 1964, he joined the U.S. Army Reserve as a medic and was honorably discharged from the 396th Station Hospital in July of 1970.
Bruce married Cheryl Davies on October 30th, 1965, and built a home in Elliston in the subsequent years to raise their children in. Bruce was a loving husband and devoted father to sons Bruce, Tom, Brandon and his special daughter, Sarah.
Bruce was a man of many talents and was known for being a reliable, hard worker. Over the years he shod and broke horses, worked on the railroad, mined, was a carpenter and a ranch hand. He also spent many years in the timber industry, including logging with horses. In 1978, Bruce started his own logging business and as they came of age, all three of his sons worked alongside him. He eventually retired, leaving the business to his sons. Even in retirement, Bruce continued to be an invaluable asset to the family business, building roads, piling brush and providing guidance for his sons. A man who always needed to be working on something, he insisted (against the wishes of wife) on running his CAT dozer to plow snow for his sons logging business as recently as last winter while battling cancer.
In his younger years, Bruce was involved in rodeo, where he competed in Bareback Riding, Team Roping, and Calf Roping. He also had many hobbies throughout his life including; hunting, trapping, fishing, and riding his ATV. He was an active member of the Avon Catholic Church and remained a very prayerful man until the very end. One of his most cherished accomplishments was being a grandfather and he enjoyed spending time with his eleven grandchildren.
Bruce is preceded in death by his parents; William Thomas and Mayme Engler Thomas; and brothers Barney Thomas, Brian Thomas (infant), Barry Thomas (infant) and Byron Thomas (infant).
Bruce is survived by his loving wife Cheryl; four children Bruce Thomas (Jodi), Tom Thomas (Kerri), Brandon Thomas (Anne Marie), and Sarah Thomas; siblings William "Bill" Thomas (Marilyn), Robert "Bob" Thomas (Sherri), and Sue Hiltz (Jim-deceased); grandchildren Trent Thomas, Troy Thomas, Tj Thomas, Logan Thomas, Lacie Thomas, Levi Thomas, Lane Thomas, Madison Thomas, Andrew Thomas, Isaac Thomas, and Alivia Thomas; and numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, and other relatives.
A Rosary Vigil will be held Thursday, November 30th at 6 PM at the Anderson, Stevenson Wilke Funeral Home. A funeral mass will be held on Friday, December 1st at Noon at the Helena Cathedral and a graveside ceremony will be held after mass at the Elliston Cemetery, followed by a luncheon at the Elliston Community Gym.