Paul Alan Thomas, 58, lifelong resident of Virginia, died unexpectedly Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012, at his home.
He was born Dec. 23, 1953, in Virginia, the son of Charles and Clara (Fitzgerald) Thomas. Paul played football for and was a 1972 graduate of Virginia High school and Mesabi Junior College in 1974. He married Darlene “Dusty” Stenlund Sept. 21, 1991, in Virginia.
Paul worked at Erie Mining Co. and LTV as a millwright until its closing, a videographer, bartender, was a night manager of the MGM Night Club in Hibbing, worked at Super One, and most recently was a water aerobics instructor at the YMCA.
He was a true sports fan. Paul coached elementary football, was actively involved in the Cherry School sports, was a rabid, 150 percent Vikings fan and a loyal Twins fan. He loved playing softball, and was fondly known as “Gramps” by his Bauman Team. Paul was a member of the Virginia Jaycees and the Virginia Men’s Bowling Association. He always had a smile, and a joke. Paul’s mission was to leave everyone with a laugh.
Paul is survived by his wife, Darlene “Dusty” Thomas; sister, Linda (Jim) Bozich of Virginia; brother, Mike Thomas of Richfield, Minn.; brothers- and sisters-in-law, Arlene Asuma, Les (Sandy) Stenlund and Bunny (Rick) Varani; mother-in-law, Betty Stenlund; aunt, Eleanor Spehar; nieces and nephews, Tim (Kelly) Thomas, Todd (Chris) Thomas, Kris (Mark) Doering, Dana Bozich, Andy Asuma, Ted (Jenna) Asuma, Jake Stenlund, Karl (Katrina) Stenlund, Becky (Eric) Cox, Heather Stenlund, Matt (Amanda) Stenlund and Shannon Stenlund; numerous great-nieces and nephews; the extended Briski family; and a host of friends.
Paul was preceded in death by his parents; father-in-law, Charles Stenlund; brother, Tim Thomas; brother-in-law, Jim Asuma; and sister-in-law, Sue Thomas.
A gathering time for family and friends will be 6-8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012, in Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Virginia. The gathering will continue Monday, from 10 a.m. until the 11 a.m. Celebration of Life Service. The Rev. Ron Gagne will officiate. Memorials are preferred. Services provided by Bauman-Cron, a Bauman Family Funeral Home in Virginia. To share condolences online, please see: www.baumanfuneralhome.com .