SFC CECIL THOMAS U.S. Army (Ret.)(1927 - 2014)

SFC CECIL THOMAS U.S. Army, Retired Mr. Cecil Dale Thomas, age 86 of Las Vegas, passed away Thursday, March 27, 2014. Known by most as "Dale," he was born July 14, 1927, in Pickens, W.Va., the son of Cecil Dana and Rosa (nee Rothenbuhler) Thomas. Sept. 18, 1952, he married Rose Lucy Chimento at the Justice of the Peace. He loved her so much that he became a Catholic and they got married again Jan. 17, 1953, in church at Pueblo, Colo. He began his military career in the U.S. Coast Guard, where he worked on a ship in the Great Lakes. Then he joined the U.S. Army, where he served for over 26 years. He served during World War II and the Vietnam and Korean wars. He was a dedicated soldier who took care of his men. He received the Purple Heart, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the Good Conduct medal, and three Bronze Service Stars. While in the military, he worked as a forward observer, an infantryman, a paratrooper, a drill sargent and a pilot. He worked in Central and South America for the U.S. Geological Survey and was present when the Panama Canal was built. He lived in Germany for eight years and traveled extensively throughout Europe, Asia, and the Americas. He retired a sargent first class in Colorado, where he settled with his wife, Rose, and daughter, Nancy. In Colorado, he worked as a police officer in Aurora, and then worked at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal for several years. He then moved with his family to Las Vegas, where he worked at Nellis Air Force Base (AFB) as a jet mechanic and retired from civil service after more than 20 years of service. After retirement he volunteered at Nellis AFB Space Available and MAC Flights. He also volunteered for many years for the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) taking patients from Las Vegas to Loma Linda, Calif., and serving coffee, donuts and bagels to the homeless veterans waiting for appointments at the Veterans Administration Hospital. He was a member of the American Legion, the Civil Air Patrol (CAP), the DAV, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and the DAV Rats and Cats. Dale Thomas loved people and knew the hearts of animals. He loved helping people. While a volunteer pilot with the CAP, he helped save the life of a woman who went down in a plane crash with her husband. He traveled the world and sought adventure wherever he was. He was a joker and a prankster, and he loved a good party and to dance and to laugh. He had a smile for everyone he met and never met a person who didn't become a friend. He was a good man, kind, gentle and loving to his family and friends. He believed in and trusted people more than he should have, was disappointed on occasion, but never let that quash his spirit. He was proud of his service to the military, loved his country, loved the flag and was proud to be American. Cecil Dale Thomas was a soldier until the day he died. Dale was preceded in death by his two brothers; and two sisters. He is survived by his wife, Rose; daughter, Nancy Rose Thomas of Las Vegas; and sister, Rosa Stolzenberg of Fargo, N.D. Services, with full military honors, will be at noon Thursday, April 10, at Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery, 1900 Veterans Memorial Drive, Boulder City. Father Tom will officiate. Please sign the online memorial guestbook www.bouldercityfamilymortuary.com

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