Often in the course of uniting for a cause, our online paths cross with individuals who share the journey with us who are, well, unforgettable. Yesterday, we learned the sad news of the passing of one of those outstanding individuals who had become a family member here. He was battling a recurrence of bone cancer which had spread to other parts of his body. When we hadn’t heard from him in a couple of weeks, our concern grew. MRC contributor Bosman (and RightSpeak mastermind) followed the prompt to check on him. Bos searched his name and hometown and found what had been feared – his obituary. Our good friend suffered a heart attack on February 12th and, combined with battling inoperable cancer, it couldn’t be overcome.
Some knew him as Bob, others knew him as Robert, he signed in as IllinoisGuy, or IG, but I knew him as I-Guy.
ARGENTA – Robert Wayne Thomas, age 65, died on February 12, 2011 at Decatur Memorial Hospital at 12:21pm. Born July 29, 1945 in Taylorville, IL, to William (Dub) Thomas and Roberta (Hobbs) Thomas, he graduated from Mt. Auburn High School in 1963. Robert served two years in the United States Marine Corp and received honors as a Platoon Honorman and Expert Rifleman. He later attended Richland Community College and Sangamon State University. He also taught at Richland Community College. He lived in Blue Mound, IL, Decatur, IL, and most recently, Argenta, IL with his sister and caretaker, Cheryl Willenborg.
He retired from Caterpillar after over 30 years of service. Robert had been a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 1976. Robert will be especially remembered for his love and passion for sports and his family. He immensely enjoyed watching competitive cycling and supporting his children and grandchildren in their sports endeavors.
Survivors include children Shelly Seitz and Stephanie Richardson (Carrol) of Cerro Gordo, IL, daughters of Linda (Ealey) Born; Curtis Thomas of Fayetteville, GA; Michael Thomas (Aleath) of Sycamore, IL; and Julie Carter (Josh) of Wichita Falls, TX; children of Polly (Campbell) Thomas. He is also survived by brothers Leonard Thomas of Blue Mound, IL; James (Jimmy) Thomas of Centrailia, IL.; and sister Cheryl Willenborg (Ted) of Argenta, IL. Robert had 15 grandchildren and one great-granddaughter. Robert was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Diane.
Services will be held at 10 am on Wednesday, February 16th, 2011 at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 3955 Lourdes Lane, Decatur, IL 62526. . Burial will be at Mt. Auburn Cemetery following the service. Visitation will be at the church on Tuesday, February 15th from 5-8 pm. Dawson & Wikoff Funeral Home, Mt. Zion is assisting the family with arrangements. Messages of condolences may be sent to the family atwww.dawson-wikoff.com Special appreciation to Dr. Perdekamp for her diligent care in treating Robert’s courageous battle with cancer. A special thank you to his sister, Cheryl Willenborg, whom cared for Robert for the last several months. Obituary written by family members. Online guest book at http://legacy.com/obituaries/herald-review/
I first met I-Guy a few years ago on another Romney site. He was a bedrock patriotic American – a firm Romney supporter with a deep understanding of politics and policy. A jovial grandfatherly type who often joked about his age, he was a fount of wisdom and facts. He commented on articles with intelligence and gentlemanly insight. When he entered a chat forum, one was assured that the discussion would be amicable and sometimes lively. When the occasion called for it, he could strike a conversational sparkler and dialogue became debate, robust and rousing. He was witty. He was wonderful. You could feel the twinkle in his eye through the computer screen.
I’ll remember I-Guy for his “How are you today, young lady?” greetings and his pride and joy in his family – especially his son-in-law’s escapades and victories in the world of bicycle racing. I’ll remember he was a soft-hearted landlord and a dedicated teacher. I’ll remember his love of genealogy and his misplaced old, historical family letter which would cause him to wake in the night with worry as to its whereabouts!
I’ll also remember I-Guy for his unwavering religious faith (LDS) and the strength and comfort he derived from it. In honor of his memory, this video features the Mormon Tabernacle and Orchestra he loved – singing The Prayer by Grammy Award winning songwriter David Foster (he’s at the piano). I-Guy, this is for you: