Obituary of Thomas Thon
Thomas Thon, 80, of Yankton, passed away Thursday, January 18, 2024, at the Avera Majestic Bluffs Hospice House in Yankton with his wife at his side. Mass of Christian Burial will be 11:00 am, Saturday, March 2, 2024, at St. Benedict Catholic Church in Yankton with Fr. Tom Anderson officiating. Visitation will be Friday, March 1 from 5:00-7:00 pm with a 7:00 pm prayer service followed by a time of sharing memories about Tom at the Opsahl-Kostel Funeral Home in Yankton. Online condolences may be sent at www.opsahl-kostelfuneralhome.com. Livestreaming of Tom’s service can be found at: https://my.gather.app/remember/thomas-thon.
Thomas Thon was born January 24, 1943 in Langdon, ND to Julius and Katherine (Koehn) Thon. He married the love of his life, Verna Rohde, on October 2, 1965.
Thomas graduated from Langdon High School, Landon, ND and from the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks with a BS degree in Chemical Engineering. His career took him to Texas, Wisconsin, and Illinois where he achieved many milestones in maintenance and research as well as granted a patent.
He resided in Morris, IL for 33 years and retired from the Millennium Chemical Plant. After retiring, his second calling was to become a substitute teacher, which he did in Morris, IL as well as when he moved to Yankton in 2006. A high point of teaching was when he would be out in public, and former students would come up to him and say “thank you”.
He was a skilled trap and skeet shooter, and a 50-caliber target rifle shooter. He started a gun club and clubhouse for employees when he worked in Morris, IL. His granddaughter, Kalea, followed in his footsteps with trap, skeet, and hunting prairie dogs with him and was proud when she could outshoot him.
Tom could fix anything, worked on cars, and designed and built a house in Morris, IL. He was proud of his yard and flowers and liked to put up lots of Christmas lights and always had to have a nativity set.
Tom enjoyed fireworks, board games, playing cards, with Pinochle being his favorite, and ended his day watching Fox News & the Business station.
He had a special bond with his granddaughter, Kalea, and they did a lot of things together. She could always make him smile, and called him “Cranky” and he called her “Critter”, even on the last days she was with him.
Tom had a motto; God first, then family then his job, and he lived his life that way. He would always say “God has a reason and we sometimes just don’t know what it is.”
Tom is survived by his wife, Verna, of 58 years; two sons, Randy (Amy) of Wichita, KS and Ron (Deb) of Yankton; three grandchildren, Emily, Alexander, and Kalea; two brothers, Mick (Vickie) of Yankton and Pat of Cedar Rapids, IA; sister-in-law Ellen Thon of Center Point, IA; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents Julius and Katherine Thon and his brother, Robert Thon.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions in Tom’s name be made to Boys Town, Attention: Education Center, 14100 Crawford Street, Mod 1, Boys Town, NE 68010.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Thomas Thon, please visit Tribute Store