Gene Thomas, 86, of Batavia, Iowa, passed away Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019, surrounded by three generations of his family at the Parkview Care Center in Fairfield, Iowa. Funeral services will begin at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019, at the Cranston Family Funeral Chapel in Batavia, Iowa, with Pastor Danny Cary officiating. Burial will be in the Batavia City Cemetery immediately following the service. Visitation will begin at noon on Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019, at the Cranston Family Funeral Chapel in Batavia, with the family present to greet friends from 5 to 7 p.m. Memorial contributions in Gene's honor may be directed the Batavia Public Library. Friends may sign the online guestbook at www.cranstonfamilyfuneralhome.com.
G. Eugene "Gene" Thomas was born March 16, 1933, in Ottumwa, Iowa, to Robert and Edith Hargesheimer Thomas. He always told everybody he was born in 1933, which made him a "Depression Baby," because when he was born his parents looked at him and got very depressed. He graduated from Batavia High School in 1950, as he said, with a diploma in one hand and a boot you-know-where. He married Nina Sue Daniels at the Batavia Methodist Church on April 12, 1952. Together they had three children, Phil, Teresa and Caboose (AKA Mark). Gene worked as an independent trucker and then for John Morrell as a territory salesman. He left Morrell and started what became his true passion, selling heavy duty trucks and trailers. He worked for Chamberlin Country Supply and Stahly Truck City, but for more than 30 years he sold for the Grask family selling Peterbilts, his true passion. Gene grew up on a farm south of Batavia and moved away when he graduated, but the farm never left his heart and soul. He lived for and loved his garden. His wife said she never worried about his mistress because she could look out the kitchen widow and see her. He also was passionate about history and was a voracious reader.
Gene was preceded in death by his parents; one brother, Bob Thomas; and a sister-in-law, Jean.
Gene is survived by his wife of 67 years, Nina Thomas of Batavia; three children, Phil (Debra) Thomas of Vinton, Iowa, Teresa (Jim) Hollingsworth of Marion, Iowa, and Mark Thomas of Batavia, Iowa; seven grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren (as well as one coming soon) and two great-great-grandchildren. He also cherished his many nieces and nephews, many friends, and the loving and compassionate staff at Parkview Care Center.