Lyle Lynn Thomas

Lyle Lynn Thomas, 75, of Hastings, formerly of Allegan, fell asleep in death September 6, 2020 at Hastings Rehabilitation and Health Center after an extended battle with Vascular Dementia.  He was born August 13, 1945.  He often told his children that when the Japanese heard he had been born they surrendered.  He took credit for his birth ending World War II.

Lyle was the youngest child of Earl M and Leva Lucille (Frederick) Thomas.  There were three older brothers and one older sister.

Lyle was predeceased by his parents, his brother Charles (Mighty), his brother Robert (Bob), and grandson Alexander James Thomas.

 Lyle is survived by his wife of 41 years, Mona, their sons Charles (Carrie) Thomas, Frederick (Cecilia) Thomas, daughters Julia (Matt) Christman, and Kathleen (John) Wass, grandsons Joseph and Henry Thomas, and granddaughter Honora Lea Wass, brother James (Phyllis) Thomas, sister Earleen (John) Barber, and countless nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts, uncles and friends.

Lyle grew up on a farm and was no stranger to chores. His father would say “to find the easiest way to do a job, give it to the laziest person” and assign Lyle the task.  Being the youngest he occasionally found himself with some free time.  This gave him time to observe and appreciate the wonders of nature.

Lyle graduated from Allegan High School in 1963.  He joined the Marine Reserves and, after basic training, spent some time in Puerto Rico before his discharge in 1970.  He worked some printing related jobs in Kalamazoo before working with Wedge Office Machines in Allegan, doing both sales and service. He also sold and serviced sewing machines for various sewing related shops.  Lyle also worked as a projectionist at the Regent Theater in Allegan.  When he moved to Hastings in 1984 he established Advantage Business Machines and sold and serviced office and sewing machines independently.

Lyle loved live theater.  He volunteered countless hours with the Allegan Community Players working on lighting and sound designs and other technical aspects of live performances. He was equally happy backstage or as an audience member, loving to attend shows at the Augusta Barn, WMU’s Miller Auditorium, or a local high school or community theater group. He experienced extra thrills when his wife or one of his children were performing.

He also loved being outdoors.  Taking the family on camping trips and sharing his appreciation for the surroundings, and campfires, brought him great joy.  His children were given every opportunity to observe the awesome wonders of creation. They were taken to waterfalls, canyons, mountains, lakesides, zoos, forests, historic sites and places of scientific importance.

He took great delight in watching his children grow into the fantastic, well-rounded adults they are today. As each one found a mate and married, Lyle’s heart expanded to welcome the new family member. His greatest joy came with the birth of grandchildren. Dubbed Pop-pop, Lyle doted on each new baby as if it were the only baby in the universe.  Even in his last days a photo of the grandchildren would bring a smile to his face.

Lyle was a member of the Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Hastings, being baptized in 1998.  He had faith in the promise of an awakening from death. His family looks forward to welcoming him back and to Revelation 21:4 finally being fulfilled.

Respecting his wishes cremation has taken place.  A virtual memorial service is being planned. If you wish to make a charitable donation in Lyle’s name please consider a gift to the local congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, your favorite zoo, Elara Caring Hospice, or the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital NICU.

The family thanks the staff at Hastings Rehabilitation and Health Center and Elara Caring Hospice for the care they gave Lyle. The timing of his residency and the pandemic lockdown created challenges unlike anything we were prepared for. Thank you for your steadfast attention during these difficult times.

The family is also very grateful for the services provided by Koops Funeral Chapel in Lake Odessa.


For full story, pick up a copy of the MONTH XX issue of The Allegan County News/The Union Enterprise/The Commercial Record or subscribe to the e-edition.

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