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Grover C. Thomas

Grover C. Thomas, 92, of Kearney, died Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017 at his home.

Memorial services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at First Church of God. There will be no visitation as Mr. Thomas was cremated. O'Brien Straatmann Redinger is serving the family. Memorials are suggested to the family. Condolences may be shared online at

Grover was born on Aug. 12, 1925 in Silverton, Texas to Jeptha D. and Lula M. (Parish) Thomas. He grew up in Texas and graduated from Moran High School in 1944. Grover entered the United States Navy in 1944, where he trained to become an underwater welder and deep-sea diver. During WWII, he served on the USS Jason and several other ships. Grover was among the divers that recovered silver bars in the Bay of Japan. He was honorably discharged in 1951. Grover joined his fellow WWII vets for the first Buffalo County Hero Flight to Washington DC.

He was united in marriage to Fern Hatch on Oct. 6, 1952 in Colorado. The couple made their home in Wyoming, where he worked as a mechanic and carpenter. They also owned and operated a café in Albin, Wyo. Later, Grover began working as a steamfitter and welder for the Steamfitter and Plumbers Union 464. The family moved several times while Grover traveled to several states for work. Eventually, the family settled in Beatrice. Grover retired in 1987 and they moved to Newark to be closer to family.

Grover was a member of the American Legion. He enjoyed fishing, gardening, playing keno and attending the dog races. He was also an avid football fan, he especially like to watch the Texas Longhorns and the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

He is survived by his loving wife of 65 years, Fern of Kearney; two daughters, Terie Dingman and husband, Don of Kearney and Lorea Meier and husband, Joe of Elm Creek; a son, Dan Thomas and wife, Karen of Platte Center, Neb.; five grandchildren, Crystal (Brian) Werts of St. Edward, Jacob Thomas of Pittsburg, Pa., Zachary Thomas of Platte Center, Neb., Austen Thomas of Lincoln and Trevor Thomas of Kearney; a great-granddaughter, Ali Werts; a brother-in-law, Marvin Kays of Moran, Texas; two sisters-in-law, Ruth Johnston and Eleanor Hatch, both of Loveland, Colo.; and several nieces and nephews.

Grover was preceded in death by his parents; two sons, James and Ronald; and ten siblings, Travis, Prentis, Allene, Rene Mae, A.J., Inez, Guy, Gene, Doris and Lorea.

Grover's family would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the staffs of Mt. Carmel, Good Samaritan St. Luke's, Good Samaritan St. John's, AseraCare Hospice and caregivers, Eva and Rosa. Your care and compassion for Grover over the years will always be remembered.

the life of: Grover C. Thomas
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