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Messages - Ole Granny

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A Picture of Kyle Gregory Thomas


Kyle Gregory Thomas, 23, Louisville, KY (formerly of Topeka, KS), was killed in action in Iraq.  He was born November 27, 1979, in Olathe, KS, the son of Raymond L. and Deborah Thomas.  Kyle was a 1998 graduate of Topeka West High School.  While in high school, Kyle was involved in Football, Wrestling, Theater, Yell Leading, Stage Craft, Woodworking and Photography.  Kyle danced for Metropolitan Ballet of Topeka and earned scholarships to The Rock School of Pennsylvania Ballet,  He danced with Boca Ballet Theater, Florida, The Dayton Ballet Company, Ohio , and Evansville Dance Theater, Indiana.  He enlisted in the United States Army January 22 , 2002, in Topeka, KS.  Kyle was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 503 Infantry Regiment, 173 Airborne Brigade, Able Company based in Ford Ederle, Italy.  He married his longtime friend Carissa Marie Dyke July 6, 2002, in Topeka.

 He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Clara Hohner Thomas, St. John, KS, Ira L. and Shirley J. Thomas, Moline, KS, and his uncle Gregory Kent Thomas, Salina, KS.  Survivors include his wife Carrissa Thomas, Louisville, KY; father Raymond Thomas, Topeka, KS; mother Deborah Thomas, Goshen, IN; brother Craig Thomas, Topeka, KS;  and grandmother Sadie  Buster, Colton, CA. 

Funeral Services will be held 10:30 a.m. Friday October 10 at St. Matthews Church, 2700 SE Virginia, Topeka, KS.  Burial with full military honors will follow at Memorial Park Cemetery, Topeka, KS.  Kyle will lie in state 1 p.m.-7 p.m. Thursday at the Penwell-Gabel Mid Town Chapel.  Memorail contributions may be given to the Kansas Children's Service League, 3616 SW Topeka Blvd., Topeka, KS, 66611, in support of abused and negected children. " (Arr. Penwell-Gabel Mid Town Chapel, 78535 4-8558)

(Published in the Kansas City Star on 10/5/03)
This is an article from the Topeka Capital-Journal 9-29-03 by Cait Purinton

"A matter of when"

"Teachers recall Kyle Thomas was a renaissance man."

"Kyle Thomas once comm(ented to his brother that he wanted to write a book about his many facets of life, and each chapter would begin w (ith a description of a pair of his shoes -- ballet slippers, work boots, athletic cleats, sandals and sneakers."

"The last chapter in his book would be the story of combat boots."

"Spc.  Kyle G. Thomas, 23, a 1998 graduate of Topeka West High School, was killed in an explosion Thursday inTikrit while he was on a patrol, according to the Department of Defense.  He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 503 Infantry Regiment, 173 Airborn Brigade based in Ford Ederle, Italy."

Another article by Matt Stamy/The Capital Journal

"A collection of memorabilia from Kyle Thomas' liife includes roses given to him after ballet performances, a fencing mask, nutcrackers, a black and white photograph that he took, developed and printed, and picture of his wife."

"In my heart, I've been prepared for this for a number of months."  Deborah Thomas, his mother, said.  "For me, it was just a matter of when."

"She said her son felt a calling from God to join the U.S. Army after the Sept. 11 terriost attacks and after a kayaking incident in which he nearly drowned.  He told his father, Raymond Thomas, that joining the Army wasn't about oil or terrorism, but that God needed Christian man fighting for Him."

"Kyle and I talked very openly about this from the beginning,"  his mother said.  " Kyle knew he wasn't coming home, and so did I.  We knew we'd meet each other again in eternity."

"Deborah thomas last heard from her son two weeks ago.  He said things were slowing down and it was less tense in Iraq, where he had been since the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom."

"He was all about what he was doing," she said.  "He was very happy, glad to be a part of freeing people and releasing them from the oppression."

Well-like performer

"Kyle Thomas' room in his father's home is decorated with artifacts of his many talents -- each rose he received following a ballet performance with the Metropolitan Ballet of Topeka, handmade nutcrackers, photographs and athletic shoes."

"June Landrith, MBT artistic director, said if he had any faults, it was that he was too good at so many things."

"I think that the people who associated with him in dance respected him and liked him genuinely."  Landrith said.  "I think that can be said about him from all the people he has danced with, from all the people he was in sports with, from all the people he was in theater design with and from all the people in his life."

"Kyle Thomas became involved in ballet when Landrith requested that members of the Topeka Fencing Club assist with a performance of "Romeo and Juliet."  After the production, he continued to attend classes--and flirt with the girls."

"Kyle was know to do that,"  Landrith said.  One of those girls, Cari Dyke, also of Topeka, would later become his wife.  The couple married in July 2002 while Kyle was on a 20-day leave before shipping out to Italy.  Cari was performing with a dance company in Louisville, KY, when she received word of her husband's death and remains in that city."

"He couldn't think of anybody else to be his life partner," said Craig Thomas, Kyle's younger brother."

"Kyle Thomas was entering his junior year at Topeka West when he chose dancing over football and wrestling.  He eventually earned a full scholarship to the Rock School of Pennsylvania Ballet in 1997-98.  He also danced in the Boca Ballet Theatre in Florida, The Dayton Ballet Company in Ohio and the Evansville Dance Theatre in Indiana."

"He had nice feet and he worked very hard."  Landrith said."

"She said Kyle Thomas "wasn't cowardly" in his steps.  In fact, a pole in the middle of her studio will no longer be an innocuous object to her anymore."

"It is the thing Kyle was always hitting,"  she said.  "He would fling himself into the air and hit it."

A 'renaissance man'

"Dance wasn't the only thing that captivated his interest.  He also enjoyed horseback riding, woodworking and auto mechanics.  He spent many nights in the garage with his brother and friends making set pieces for productions at Topeka West."

"Mike Callaway, theater technical designer at Topeka West, recalls how Kyle Thomas taught him to weld to help build sturdy sets for the school's productions."

"He began in industrial art, and evenually applied his woodworking skills to set construction.  As a freshman and sophomore, he was a theater technician, the his junior and senior years "he really took off as an all-around renaissance man,"  Callaway said."

"Kyle was one of those people wo kind of stood out because he had a different aura about him,"  he said.  "He had a real good karma to him." 

"Doug Goheen, Theater teacher at Topeka West, remembers Kyle Thomas' vibrant energy and his diverse field of interests."

"I remember him as being a fine young man, well-respected, very polite, good natured."  he said.  "The overwhelming memory I have of him is his complete embracement of life." 

"Funeral arrangements are pending."

Kyle's name is still on  I searched for Kyle Thomas of Topeka tonight and found many articles about Kyle.  Sounds like he was truly a Thomas like his dad and grandfather.

Ira and Shir;ey were tremendous people.  Alex Thomas, Ira's dad, was a jewel.  I have an article from the Topeka Capital Journal about Kyle Thomas, Ira's grandson, (Raymond's son) about his life and death.  If this appropriate for the Elk County Forum, I would put it on.  Kyle's grandparents and parents were from Moline.  Kyle was raised in the Topeka area. 

Obituaries / THOMAS, Ira Lee - b. Oct. 6, 1926 - d. November 15, 1998
« on: June 10, 2007, 08:15:31 am »
                                        In Loving Memory of Ira L. Thomas

  Ira Lee Thomas passed away Sunday, November 15, 1998 at Via Christi St. Francis Medical Center in Wichita, Kansas.  He was 72 years of age.  Ira was born October 6, 1926 at Wellington, Kansas to Alex and Ada (Hines) Thomas.  He attended Pink rural school near Wellington as well as Wellington schools, before moving with his family to the Moline community where he graduated from Moline High School in 1944.
   On September 20, 1944 Ira enlisted in the United States Air Force at Shepard Field, Texas and sevrved as a papachute rigger while stationed at Santa Anna, California.  He was honorably discharged on November 16, 1945.
   On December 19, 1946, Ira married Shirley Jean Porter at their current home in Moline.  Ira was employed at Concrete Materials in Sedan, Kansas until serving as parts manager at Ames Chevrolet in Moline for 17 years.  In 1964, he became associated with O & B Oil Company in Elk Falls, Kansas and continued in that business until he retired in 1985.
   Ira enjoyed hunting, fishing and camping.  He was also interested in automobiles and caring for his favorite dogs, "Sam", "Red", "Fifi" and "T-John".  He was a board member of the Moline Community Rural Health Clinic and was instrumental in constructing the clinic building.  Ira was also active in the Shalom Workshop and Residence at Moline.  He was former mayor and councilman of Moline, former president of the board of Southeast Kansas Economic Development and was a former member of the Moline School Board.  He was a long time member of Fergueson-Spease American Legion Post #388, Hope Lodge #155 A. F. & A.M., Ladonia Chapter #243 O.E.S. and the Moline United Methodist Church.
   He is survived by his wife, Shirley; sons, Raymond Thomas and his wife Deborah, of Topeka and Tyson Porter of Round Rock, Texas; a daughter, Teressa Kirkpatrick and her husband, Rodney, of Longton; and 3 grandchildren, Kyle and Craig Thomas and Crystal Kirkpatrick.
   Funeral services were held at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, November 18, 1998 at the Moline United Methodist Church with Rev. Larry Boyer officiating.  Shae Watkins was the organist with congregational singing of "Because He Lives" and "When We All Get To Heaven".  The casket bearers were Clarence Carter, Gene Corle, Chris Clyde, Merle Hey, Dennis Hogan, Fred Osborn, Rob Shore, Gene Williams and Mike Wilson.  Interment was held in the Moline Cemetery.  Memorials have been established with the Moline United Methodist Church and the New Beginnings Workshop of Moline.  Contributions may be left with the funeral home.  The funeral arrangements were made with the Zimmerman Funeral Home of Howard.


The Coffee Shop / Re: Hello & Good Morning!
« on: June 09, 2007, 10:10:07 pm »
I do remember the Tamarack bush.  We had to go pick our switch.  It made you want to be good.  Believe it was good for us.

The Good Old Days / USA MSgt. Harrod Decorated
« on: June 09, 2007, 07:47:23 am »
From The Elk County Citizen-Advance, October 5, 1994

Army Master Sgt. Carl L. Harrod has been decorated with the Meritorious Service Medal.

The medal is awarded for outstanding non-combat meritorious achievement for service to the United States.

Harrod, a combat engineer senior sergeant, is the son of Kenneth and Ann Harrod of Severy.

He is a 1970 graduate of Howard High School.

Obituaries / MAY, Melba Hope (Lyster) - d. March 8, 2005
« on: June 09, 2007, 06:55:38 am »
Melba Hope May, 86, homemaker and retired dental assistant, died March 8, 2005.  Preceded in death by her husband Norman and sons, Karlton Mac and Johnnie.  Visitation 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Hillside Funeral Home West; service 10:00 a.m. Saturday, Bethany United Methodist Church, 1601 S. Main; graveside service 2:00 p.m. Greenwood Cemetery in Eureka, KS.  Survived by sons, Lynn of Maiden, NC, Tony of Emporia; daughter Jane Armagost of Wichita; 6 grandchildren; 10 great grandchildren.  In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Bethany United Methodist Church, 1601 S. Main, Wichita, KS  67213  Hillside Funeral Home West. 943-2929
Published in the Wichita Eagle on 3/10/2005.

The Coffee Shop / Re: Howard rocks for sale on ebay.
« on: June 06, 2007, 04:34:09 pm »
I checked the other items this man has for sale.  A few coins but mainly rocks from many different states.   Some look like road rock.  My kids, myself and grandkids have always enjoyed finding rocks with shells, bugs etc. in them.  Maybe since we are use to seeing these type of rocks, they are not unusal to us.  I don't think I would pay for them but have bought gold ore and pyrite in Colorado.

The Coffee Shop / Re: 36 inch rattler
« on: June 05, 2007, 10:41:17 pm »
I have heard the baby rattlers have more venom that the larger ones.  Big or small it is still scary!

The Good Old Days / "Elk County Morning"
« on: June 05, 2007, 12:07:26 am »
No date or author for following article from the Wichita Eagle Editorial Page.  Hope you enjoy it as much as I have over the years.

                                              " Elk County Morning"

   "The sounds of an awakening Elk County morning echo crisply through the still-damp summer air.  As warm jewels of light welcome the birth of a new day, minute droplets of moisture obediently disappear from slender blades of grass.

   Colorful valleys tucked in between the subtly rolling hills of Southeast Kansas already are stirring with activity.  Bushyy-tailed squirrels scamper from tree to tree.  Peeking out from burrows, rabbits can be seen surveying for greenery on which to nibble.  The flurried sounds of brightly-colored locusts can be heard as the insects leap and bound, blending into the variegated surroundings.  In the pasture, cattle graze freely, swishing their tails at flies and mooing occasionally. 

   The freedom and open beauty of this farm country are a credit to Kansas, a state too often regarded as being modest in scenery.  Residents and visitors to this area know better.  The open-air freshness of the land provides insight as to what it is to be at one with God and his creation.

   All too soon, the day melts away in the intense heat of mid-July.  The day that started out long has become all too short.

   As the sun embarks on its journey beneath the horizon, and intangible blanket spreads across the land, leaving a trail of darkness in its wake.  Sleep beckons to natures's weary creatures who unconsciously await another dawn.  With unhurried calmness, nature remains in abeyance until the hour of a new birth approaches, revealing a new and beautiful Elk County morning."

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