LORENCE 'BUD' THOMAS was born to William and Elsie (Weinkauf) Thomas on November 25, 1925 on a farm near Holland, Minnesota where he was raised and attended school. He was baptized in 1925 and confirmed in 1939. Upon completion of his education, he helped on the farm. In December, 1943, he entered the U.S. Army and served in the South Pacific during World War II. After his discharge from the service, he returned to the farm. On April 2, 1948, he was united in marriage to Byrdella 'Berdie' Erks at St. James Lutheran Church in Holland. Following their marriage, they farmed near Elkton, South Dakota. In 1969, they moved to Sioux Falls, South Dakota where Bud worked as a truck driver for Metz Baking Company. He was awarded a beautiful gold watch with an inscription, '10 years safe driving' from Metz, and he proudly wore this watch. After his retirement in 1990, they moved to Milbank, South Dakota. Berdie preceded him in death in 2002. After her death, Bud became reacquainted with Alma Johnson whom he had known since 1938. They were devoted to each other for seven years. On Friday, November 4, 2011, Bud died at the Pipestone County Medical Center at the age of 85 years, 11 months and nine days.
Bud was a member of St. James Lutheran Church in Holland. He was a lifetime member of the American Legion in Gary, South Dakota, and the VFW in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, playing cards and traveling.
He is lovingly remembered by Alma Johnson of Pipestone, Minnesota; his son, Larry Thomas and his wife Mary of Albuquerque, New Mexico; his grandson, Joseph Thomas and his girlfriend Kendra and children Angela, Brianna and Ryan of Littleton, Colorado; his grandson, Justin Thomas and his girlfriend Casey of Albuquerque, New Mexico; his daughter, Bonnie Schramel and her husband Tom of Whitewood, South Dakota; his grandson, Neal Thomas and his wife Layla and their children, Austin, Parker, Clayton and Caia Jo of Rapid City, South Dakota; his granddaughter, Stephanie Wood and her son Aidan of Sturgis, South Dakota; his sister-in-law, Rhoda of Oakes, North Dakota; and many nieces, nephews and friends. He was preceded in death by his wife, Berdie; his parents; one brother, Bill Thomas; and two sisters, Erlene Heidebrink and Florence Ten Cate.