Richard Thomas


Richard “Dick” Thomas, 92, of Summerset, passed away at his home on Oct. 11, 2022. 

There will be a Celebration of Life service at Osheim & Schmidt Funeral Home on Oct. 21, at 10 a.m. Burial with military honors will take place at Black Hills National Cemetery at 12 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to any local hospice in your area.

Dick was born in Letcher on May 21, 1930.  He was the fourth child of five children born to Charles and Bernadine (Dunbar) Thomas.  Dick grew up in Letcher with siblings Lorraine, Vernon, Eugene and Charyl. He attended school and graduated from Letcher High School in 1948. After graduation, he was employed as a salesclerk at JCPenney in Mitchell, where he learned to tailor clothing. 

Dick was drafted and served in the U.S. Army from January 1952 until 1954. During the Korean War, he was stationed in Tokyo, Japan, where his duties included putting together military correspondence and managing top secret files. He was honorably discharged from active duty to the Army Reserves in 1954 and discharged from the Army Reserves in 1960. 

He returned to Letcher and resumed his work at JCPenney. He left JCPenney to manage the Corner Gas Station and Café in Letcher for a year until friends encouraged him to move to Rapid City. He was employed by Safeway and worked at many of their locations. 

In 1961, Dick met Jean Marie Jochim. Dick proposed to Jean on Valentine’s Day, and they were married at St John’s Catholic Church in Rapid City on July 7, 1962. They made their home in Rapid City.

Dick was promoted and transferred with Safeway as assistant manager to the store in Belle Fourche. During the summer of 1965, Dick transferred back to Rapid City with Safeway. After returning to Rapid City, Dick also worked part time at K-Mart Foods. In 1965, he began employment through Civil Service at Ellsworth AFB. While working at the Commissary, he held many positions and was promoted to the Warehouse Supervisor. Dick retired after 32 years of Civil Service at the Commissary. 

Dick’s hobbies included cooking, gardening, canning, sewing and wood working. Some of the activities he enjoyed were boating, water skiing, building sandcastles with his children and grandchildren, watching sailboats, playing cribbage and cards, and listening to country music.

Dick is survived by his wife of 60 years, Jean; daughters, Carol Hansen of Summerset, Michele (Kevin) Anderson of Scranton, N.D., and Laura (Mike) Benson of Summerset; nine grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; sisters-in-law, Adeline Konnoff and Jeanette (Brad) Stevens; brothers-in-law, Jim Augustine and Louie Saunier; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Dick was preceded in death by his son, John; his parents, Charles and Bernadine Thomas; his sister, Lorraine (Levo) Larson; his brothers, Vernon (Joyce) Thomas and Eugene Thomas, and sister, Charyl Saunier. 

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