Thursday, October 8, 2009

Stephen Neville Thomas
We lost Steve October 7, 2009. He maintained his gentle and kind nature to the end, thinking more of others than himself. Steve was born January 17, 1948 in Glendale, CA, the fourth of ten children. He graduated from Arcadia High School in 1966 and served in the Western Canadian Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Steve and Mary were married July 7, 1973 in the Mesa Arizona Temple. Steve discovered his artistic talent which developed into his profession as a decorative painter. He made the life of decorators easier with his ability to match colors and his I-can-do-that approach to any idea they had. Steve loved to travel. He enjoyed the fall in New England, going through the Nauvoo Temple as it was being completed, and touring England and Scotland while working on the Preston England Temple. He traveled to Northern Europe just before becoming ill and came back with wonderful memories. Steve was a gardener. His home was surrounded by beautiful flowers. He had a “pack of dogs” and an aviary filled with love birds. Steve loved and had a testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. His favorite calling was serving as a Primary Teacher. He had a gift for communicating with young children and taught the gospel to many children over the years. Steve’s family was his greatest love. He was a wonderful husband, father, and grandfather. He worked hard to provide for his family, but took time to go on walks with his teenagers. He loved carrying babies with him while he worked in his yard. He was a kind, gentle man. He will be missed by family and friends.He is survived by his wife Mary, children Sarah (Tom) Purcell, Valerie Hyde, Bret Thomas, and Jacob (Veronica) Thomas. Grandchildren: Emma, Elizabeth, and Michael Purcell, Josh, Brad, and Hailey Hyde, Jocelyn and Natalie Thomas. Siblings: Chuck (Diana) Thomas, Mary (Russell) Nielsen, John (Madge) Thomas, Carol (David) Herring, Helen (Artie) Hancock, David (Gayle) Thomas, Margaret (Larry) Manning, Martha (Doug) Moyer, and Richard (Diane) Thomas. Predeceased by his parents, Harold “Jack” and Ada ParkinsonThomas and son-in-law, Gordon “Doogie” Hyde. Visitation will be Monday, October 12, 2009 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at Bunker’s Garden Chapel, 33 N. Centennial Way in Mesa. Funeral Services are Tuesday, October 13, 2009 10:00 a.m. LDS Chapel, 2222 E. Brown Rd. with visitation at 9:00 a.m. Interment following at the
City of Mesa Cemetery.

Steve's Visitation and Funeral Arrangements

Monday, October 12
Bunker's at 33 N. Centennial Way
Visitation 6:00 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Tuesday, October 13
Mesa East Stake Center
LDS Chapel
2228 E. Brown Rd.
Visitation 9:00 a.m.
Funeral 10:00 a.m.

Interment following services at Mesa Cemetery

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

We lost Steve at 1:50 a.m. October 7, 2009

I visited with Steve yesterday afternoon. He was awake and still hoping to get chemo today. We had a good visit and he said our family prayer before I left. He definitely expected to live a while longer.

The hospice nurse called shortly after midnight and told me that Steve was deteriorating and he expected him to pass within 24 hours. The nurse told me to try to get some sleep, but knowing that would not happen, I sent emails to family and left for the facility. As I entered Arbor Home, the nurse had the phone in his hand and was calling me. Steve was worse. I got to spend about 40 minutes with him before he passed. He did not struggle. His breathing was rougher with pauses. He gradually took fewer breathes until he quit breathing, I called the nurse and the nurse confirmed that he was gone.

Steve was one of the finest men I ever knew. I feel privileged to have had him by my side for so many years and look forward to being reunited with him again. I have cried privately this past year and know I will continue to have waves of emotions for a long time to come. He is truly in a better place.

Funeral arrangements are pending - probably Monday or Tuesday.