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John R. "Jack" Thomas

Obituary for John R. "Jack" Thomas

March 12, 1929 - January 17, 2018
McHenry, Illinois | Age 88


John R. (Jack) Thomas, of McHenry, passed away peacefully January 17, 2018.
He was born in Chicago, March 12, 1929 to James A. and Lillian Thomas. Jack had one brother, William, who preceded him in death in 2011.
Jack married his college sweetheart, Jane Grimm on March 17, 1951; she was his dedicated wife for 66 years. In addition to Jane, he is survived by his three children John R. (Sharon) Thomas, Nancy Thomas, Kathryn (Adrian) Burson, and two grandsons Maxwell A. and Jack T. Burson.
Jack graduated from Calumet High School in 1947, and then attended Western Kentucky University on a basketball scholarship. He transferred to Northern Illinois University earning his BA in Education in 1951. He received his Master's degree in Administration from NIU in 1957.
Jack was drafted in the fall of 1951 and served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War until 1953. While stationed in Germany he was introduced to the sport of downhill skiing and it became a life-long passion.
Jack was always an educator; mentor, teacher, dean, coach, principal and district administrator until his retirement from Muskego-Norway School District in 1988. He was admired and appreciated by many of his students and colleagues whom remained friends throughout his life.
Aside from his family, one of Jack's proudest accomplishments was his role as a founding general partner of The Racket Club in Crystal Lake (1972). In addition to teaching at The Racket Club, he developed and directed a summer tennis program at Turnberry Country Club. He was a USPTA certified professional and one year earned the rank of #1 in Men's Doubles in the Midwest region for the age group of 65 and over. In addition to his enthusiasm for tennis, Jack was an avid golfer and sailor. He took great pride in his sailboat, which he enjoyed with many friends and family on Lake Geneva over the past 30 years.
Jack was an athlete and sports enthusiast his entire life. He was an umpire and referee in the McHenry area for many years, and played in a men's softball league for Bimbo's in the 1960's.
Jack was a proud grandfather to Max and Jack. He followed their high school swim, water polo and sailing teams closely, and with great pride and joy.
Jack continued to contribute to many worthwhile causes throughout his retirement and until the present, acted as an executive board member for several organizations.
Visitation will be held at Colonial Funeral Home 591 Ridgeview Dr. McHenry on January 23rd, from 4:00 - 8:00 p.m., a memorial service will take place at the funeral home on Wednesday January 24th at 11:00 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Journey Care Hospice of Barrington, 405 N. Lake Zurich Rd., Barrington, IL 60010, or the Walt S. Herrick Sr. Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 407, Crystal Lake, IL 60039 which supports and funds scholarships to deserving young tennis players.

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Colonial Funeral Home & Crematory

591 Ridgeview Drive
McHenry, IL 60050
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