Obituary: Michael Thomas
August 14, 1947 – February 22, 2023
While he had many nicknames – El Supremo, Mikey, Papa, Poppie…he is best described as a Renaissance Man, a person who is knowledgeable in many fields.
Born in Westwood, CA to heavy equipment operator William (Bill) Thomas & Ann Virginia Silva, he later became a long-time resident of North Lake Tahoe where he was raised by his father & step-mom, 3rd grade teacher Elizabeth (Maranel) Erickson. He attended Kings Beach Elementary & Truckee High School (1966).
He enlisted in the military, taking on the challenge to be a Navy Seal, becoming a highly decorated team leader in the Vietnam War (1968 – 1974).
He transitioned into Law Enforcement, starting in Nevada County (Truckee, CA) before he rooted deeply in the Tahoe City, CA substation for Placer County. He was the SWAT & Dive Team Leader, & lead FTO (Field Training Officer). His greatest pride was serving & protecting the community of Kings Beach.
After retirement, he became the lead tour guide & trainer for the Reno Automobile Museum. He then transitioned to the Jack C Davis Observatory in Carson City where he led lectures & training while researching for NASA.
He became a well-known lecturer throughout Northern NV educating retirement homes, service clubs, & the public on a variety of historical & astronomical themes (over 100 different topics). He had the rare gift of high intellect, witty humor, & powerful charisma that made each lecture informative & entertaining.
Above all, he was a family man with deep love for his 6 grandkids (Seth, Julia, William, Olivia, Mathayus, River), 3 daughters (Kari, Nora, Barbara) & sons-in-law (Matt, Matt, Chris).
He was most grateful for his favorite world travel partner Eleanor, his wife of nearly 26 years. They enjoyed extended trips to many countries, always preferring to cross the Atlantic & Pacific oceans on cruise ships rather than in the air. Egypt ended up his all time favorite destination.
He is survived by his stepmom Maranel & is preceded in death by his father & three brothers (Richard, Carl, John). He continued a deep connection & strong bond to his first wife Mary Ferrari who passed away last year.
A memorial service will be held Sunday, May 28th at 1pm. Bartley Ranch Regional Park in Reno, NV. Full military honors.
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