Nathan Elias ‘Nate’ Thomas

Sept. 16, 1984 — Sept. 4, 2014

Nathan Elias Thomas found peace on September 4, 2014, at the age of 29 years. He was born on September 16, 1984, in Waukesha, the son of Robin and Judy (nee Kanters) Thomas.

Nate grew up in Waukesha and graduated from Waukesha South High School in 2003. He loved fishing, and the bonding experience that he shared with his father.

Nate proudly served the United States Army from 2003 to 2008 with the 173rd Airborne Brigade based in Vicenza, Italy. He was part of Operation Enduring Freedom VI and VIII in Afghanistan, for a total of 27 months. Nate was the recipient of the Afghanistan Campaign medal, Combat Infantryman badge and Parachutist badge. He was honorably discharged in 2011.

Nate met the love of his life, Michela Bettin in Vicenza, Italy in September 2004. They were married on December 7, 2007 in Haderslev, Denmark and have been happily together ever since. They moved to the United States in 2010 to start a new chapter in their lives. He attended the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha, where he began to fulfill his dream of becoming a nurse, in his quest to keep helping people, especially veterans.

While there, he served as president of the UW-Waukesha Student Veterans Club.

In May 2013, Nate and Michela moved to Chicago, where they proudly purchased their first home.

Because he loved their house and what it meant to the both of them, Nate put his heart into renovating their 1920s home to restore it to its former glory. Nate and Michela added more love to their home when they rescued their dog Olivia and their cat Frederick. He began college courses in the fall of 2013 at St. Xavier’s in Chicago to complete his education.

Nate had a big heart and a kind soul, his priority was always helping others anyway he could; everybody loved him, they just couldn’t help it. He gave his wife the best 10 years of her life and he will always be with her. She knows he will never leave her alone.

Nate will be deeply missed by his wife, Michela; his parents, Robin and Judy of Waukesha; his sisters, Kristen of Madison, and Emily and Rebecca of Waukesha; his brother, Adam (Ashley) Thomas of Cheyenne, Wyo.; his Italian family, Vittorio and Amalia Bettin of Dueville, Italy; all the friends he made and those whose lives he touched. Nate is further survived by aunts, uncles, cousins, his 173rd brothers, his friends and fratres.

He was preceded in death by his grandparents, John and Virginia Kanters, and William and Marianna Thomas; his Italian grandmother, Santa Luigina Brazzale; a cousin Marissa Kanters; and his fallen brothers of the 173rd.

The visitation for Nate will be held from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 10, at Cesarz, Charapata & Zinnecker Funeral Home, 237 N. Moreland Blvd., Waukesha. A second visitation will be held from 10:00 a.m.

until the 11:00 a.m. Celebration of Life service on Thursday, September 11, at St. Matthias Episcopal Church, 111 E. Main St., Waukesha, WI 53187. A private burial will follow.

In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests that memorial donations in Nate’s name be made to Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675 or funeral contributions be made out to the funeral home.

Cesarz, Charapata & Zinnecker Funeral Home, Cremation and Pre-Planning Services is serving the family. For further information, please call 262-542-6609, or for directions, an online obituary, or to leave a condolence, please visit