David Thomas


David “Dave” Simon Thomas passed away July 1, 2024, surrounded by family. Dave was born on August 22, 1938, in Monroe County, Iowa, to Morgan Thomas and Ethel (Sandeen) Thomas. David graduated from Albia Community High School in 1956. ​

Dave married Wanda Kay West on September 16, 1961, in Kansas City, Missouri, after they were set up to date by Dave’s sister, Lois. Dave grew up on a farm, did farming himself, worked in an auto body shop, and worked as a welder at John Deere for 18 years before going into the car dealership business. Dave and Wanda began Thomas Hi-Way 5 in 1977, and operated their business until retiring in 2021. ​

Dave was probably thee most stubborn man on the planet! Rules did not apply to him, it was his way or the highway. He was fearless and always spoke his mind. Cars were his passion, especially going to auto auctions to find the next vehicle to rebuild or repair to sell. Despite his intimidating persona to many, with his size, bold words (mostly cuss words), and reputation, Dave had a big heart and soft side that cherished simple pleasures. He loved family gatherings; his home was open to anyone to join dinners or family events. He loved telling stories that made you laugh hard or gasp in shock. He loved playing rummy (by his rules), loved watching wildlife outside his kitchen window. He had a soft spot for stray cats that showed up at his business, and despite saying he was not taking them in, it was inevitable that they became his next shop cat. He loved westerns, especially Gunsmoke, and it was a common sight to see him and Molly engrossed in adventures of Matt Dillon.

Dave was hardworking, loyal, generous, honest, funny, smart, and strong. Dave’s legacy will live on in the hearts of those who knew and loved him. His life was a testament to the power of resilience, courage, hard work, and ambition. There is no doubt Dave is already negotiating a deal on a heavenly Cadillac. He will be deeply missed, but never forgotten.

Dave was preceded in death by his parents, Morgan Thomas and Ethel (Sandeen) Thomas; step-mother Alice Thomas; son Duane Thomas; brothers Roland (Rollie) Thomas, Garold Thomas, Larry Thomas, Edward (Shorty) Thomas; sister Lois (Thomas) Hall, and daughter-in-law Rhonda Thomas.

​Dave is survived by his beloved wife of just under 63 years, Wanda Thomas; children David (Cathy) Thomas, Debra (Jerry) Mickles, Darwin Thomas, Marty Thomas, Terri Thomas, and his beloved in dog, Molly; It should be noted that Dave loved his daughter-in-law Cathy as his daughter, and his son-in-law Jerry as his son. It has been a long-standing joke in the family that he loved them more than he loved his own children. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Justin Thomas, Michael (Amanda) Thomas, Libby (Brennan) Penner, Krista (Danielle) Jones; Great-grandchildren Cobi Thomas, Michael Thomas, David Thomas, Slater Thomas, Brody Thomas, Blair Thomas, Whitney Thomas, Eleanor Penner, Axton Jones, Kohen Jones; brother Harry (Deb) Thomas; 3 sisters-in-law, Martha Thomas, Vivian (Button) Thomas, Gloria Thomas, and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Visitation will be held on Saturday, July 13, 2024, from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. with Dave’s family present. Dave’s funeral service will be held at 1:00 p.m., on Saturday July 13, 2024 at Sinnott Funeral Home in Albia. Private family burial will be in Oak View Cemetery on Monday. Memorials established to the family.

“We deeply appreciate the kind expressions of sympathy in this difficult loss. Thank you for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers.” ~The Thomas Family

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