John E. Thoma, 85
April 25, 1930 -- Sept. 22, 2015

John E. ThomaJohn E. Thoma was peacefully carried to heaven in the arms of the angels Sept. 22, 2015, surrounded by his family at The Kathy Hospice in West Bend.

John was born April 25, 1930, to John and Rose Thoma. He grew up on the family farm on Mile View Road in the town of West Bend. He graduated from West Bend High School in 1948 and then worked for JC Penney. He joined the Army at age 21 and proudly served his country in the Korean War. When he returned to West Bend, he began an electrical apprenticeship at Bauer Electric. He worked for a number of contractors and was a proud member of IBEW Local 494. He retired from Staff Electric in 1992.

John met the love of his life, Marian Gundrum, at a dance at the popular Gonring’s on Big Cedar Lake. John and Marian celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary this past summer. Their greatest joy was time spent with family. They enjoyed traveling, playing cards, casino trips, dining out and their “breakfast club” with friends. He was also proud and grateful of his 43 years of sobriety.

Faith was the centerpiece of John’s life. He was a lifetime member of Holy Angels Catholic Church in West Bend, where he served as a Eucharistic Minister for many years. John was instrumental in the church’s St. Vincent DePaul ministry. John’s service and compassion to others was illustrated by being an active volunteer with St. Vincent DePaul for more than 30 years. He drove for the Red Cross and Interfaith Caregivers, and delivered Meals-on-Wheels throughout the area.

John’s love for his family was so strong, it remains with his beloved wife, Marian; sons, Gary (Sue) of Keshena, Dale (Mary) of Mequon, Jeff (Dawn) of Appleton, and Mark of Overland Park, Kansas; his adored only daughter, Sheryl (Tom) Brugger of Kewaskum; his 18 grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren. He is also survived by one brother-in-law, Jim Brodzeller.

After his son-in-law, John Knoeck, passed, he was an amazing, devoted grandfather to his daughter’s three sons.

His kind heart and sweet manner will be dearly missed by all those who couldn’t help but love him.

He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Rose Thoma; parents-in-law, Frank and Frances Gundrum; sister, Betty (Ervin) Bonlender; and son-in-law, John E. Knoeck.

The family extends a special thank you to Dr. Mosley, Dr. Mooney, Dr. Smale and the caring, compassionate staff at The Kathy Hospice.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Holy Angels Catholic Church (138 N. Eighth Ave., West Bend) at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 29. Visitation will be held at the church from 3-5:45 p.m. Military honor rites will follow the Mass.

In lieu of flowers, memorials to Holy Angels Catholic School, The Kathy Hospice and Interfaith Caregivers, all in West Bend, are appreciated.

The Schmidt Funeral Home in West Bend is serving the family. Online guestbook and condolences are available at