James R. Thomas

November 18, 1944 - January 21, 2013
Mr.  James  R. Thomas thumbnail
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Loving Husband, Father, Grandfather, Son, Brother, Uncle, Cousin, and Friend

James Robert Thomas “Jim Thomas, Good Guy”, 68, of Poplar Grove, IL passed away in Belvidere, IL with family by his side on January 21, 2013 as a result of a traumatic head injury. Jim was born in 1944 in Vancouver, BC, to William Robert Thomas and Thelma Kathleen (Pollack) Kornacki. Jim married Joan Marie King on December 26, 1964 in Superior, WI. He retired from Chrysler in 2007 after 20 years as a welder repairman and among previous jobs during his 49 years in the Rockford area; he had been a police officer for the City of Rockford, and an EMT/Fire fighter for the Harlem-Roscoe Fire Department. He was a friend of Bill W. and proud member of Alcoholics Anonymous since May 25, 1989. He was also a member of the Alano Club of Rockford, UAW Local 1268 and the Rock River Valley Blood Center, working on his 17th gallon. He was a car guy and enjoyed competing in the sports of autocross and drag racing. He enjoyed every aspect of building, rebuilding, and fixing Corvettes and was well known for always having the part that someone else needed at a competition. He was a member of the Midwest Region (MWR) of the National Council of Corvette Clubs (NCCC) since 1994. He was a member of Mad City Vettes, and previously a long time member of the Northern Illinois Corvette Club. He is the NCCC 2010 National Champion and the NCCC Drag Class 2G Record Holder. He is the 1997 and 2005 MWR Champion and served as their 2001 and 2002 Competition Director. Many thanks to Rev. William Wentink, staff at OSF St. Anthony Medical Center, and Manchester Country Kennels. Survived by his wife Joan; daughters Katy Jackson, Sandi (John Hoeksema) Thomas; son James “Duffy” Thomas, II; grandchildren Ashley McMullin, John McMullin, II, Erik Jackson, Karl Jackson, James “Fox” Thomas, III, Roark Thomas; great-granddaughter Brynlee McMullin; mother Thelma; brother William L.; aunts; uncles; cousins; brothers and sisters-in-law Joyce Driessen, Reni and Tom Lynch, Geri and Gale Kafka, Bob and Pat King, Barb King, Pete and Deb King, Steve and Anita King; many nieces and nephews; loyal companion Piper. Predeceased by father William R., brothers-in-law Ron King, Leon Kiener, Manny Driessen, and longtime sidekick Barney, the Racing Dog.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Alano Club of Rockford or Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary.

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Service Schedule

Service Information

Funeral service 2 PM, Saturday, January 26, 2013 in Buck-Wheeler-Hyland Funeral Home, 218 W. Hurlbut Ave., Belvidere with Rev. William Wentink, chaplain of OSF St. Anthony Medical Center, officiating. Visitation 4 to 8 PM, Friday, January 25, 2013 in the funeral home.


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Timeline for Mr. James R. Thomas

Born: November 18, 1944
Died: January 21, 2013

Condolences for Mr. James R. Thomas

Anderson Funeral & Cremation Services

Our sincere condolences.

The staff of Anderson Funeral & Cremation Services.


Mary Quine posted on 1/23/13

You are in our thoughts and prayers


Debbie and Jerry Lindsey posted on 1/23/13

Those who knew Jim were truly blessed! We will always remember his smile, his kind words, his sweet spirit. Such a kind, wonderful man who will greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers to Joan, their chidren, and other family members as they transition through this difficult time.


Brad and Keverly Schulz posted on 1/24/13

Duffy, so sorry to hear about your loss. You are in ourthoughts and prayers.


Blair & Sue Vanacore posted on 1/24/13

Duffy, so sorry to hear about your loss. You are in ourthoughts and prayers.


Kevin and Holly Hillman posted on 1/24/13

Duffy, We are very sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.


Arnie & Lynne at Barry T's Modernistic Engravers posted on 1/24/13

We are so sorry to hear of your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.


Joe Scafero posted on 1/25/13

My thoughts and prayers are with you Joan and your entire Family. Jim was a good man. I am glad to have known him and was able to call him my friend.


Heather Korsh posted on 1/25/13

Ashley, our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I did not know your grandpa, but you speak very highly of him. He sounds like a wonderful man. Find peace in knowing he is in a better place. If you need anything your Kids Spot family is here for you and your family.


Tammy Spinrad & Jerry Britner posted on 1/26/13

We are truly saddened by Jim's death. It was with a great sense of loss when we heard of Jim's death. Jim was more than just a friend, he was an amazing person. He was always so kind and considerate to us that we always welcomed seeing him at every opportunity. We will always remember the morning walks on the deck during the DCA Cruise. His passing will not only leave a void in our lives, but in the hearts of everyone who knew him. There is no doubt that Jim's contributions to the Corvette world were numerous and will be long remembered. No words could possibly express the sorrow we feel in our hearts for you, Joan, and your entire family.


Aunt Betty, Howard and Sue Forbrook posted on 1/26/13

We were so sorry to hear of your loss. We have good memories and pray God gives you His peace and surrounds you with His love.


Lesley and David Armstrong posted on 1/26/13

Joan we can't tell you how sad we are for you and your family. you are in our thoughts and prayersLesley and David Armstrong


Chuck DeProw posted on 1/26/13

To Jim & Joan's entire family. It's with shock and sadness that I send this heartfelt sympathy after hearing of Jim's passing. Through Corvettes, Jim became a friend of mine in upwards of 20 years. We were both Corvette enthusiasts. I will surely miss him. Upcoming car events will have a void without him. My condolences go out to you during this sad time in your life. I light a candle as a symbol of friendship. Chuck DeProw, Boone Trail Corvette Club, St. Charles County, MO


Brad & Ellen Anderson posted on 1/27/13

Joan,Ellen & I were saddened to learn of Jim's passing. He was a great guy and the world was a better place with him in it. Our sympathies to you and your kids.Brad & Ellen


Bill and Debbie Esicar posted on 1/28/13

We were shocked and deeply saddened in learning of Jim's passing. We will truly miss him and miss watching him race. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. God Bless!


Pete & Cindy Urenda posted on 1/28/13

Joan, There are no words to adequately express how sad we are to lose Jim from our Corvette family, and how our hearts ache for you. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and yours.


Bullet Bob posted on 1/29/13

Joan, you are in my prayers.


Locke McCormick and the NFCA Family posted on 1/23/13

Joan and Family,We have enjoyed your company and spirit for so many great times. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and our thanks for the many, many fond memories.


Skip and Bonnie Kerwin posted on 1/23/13

Joan, you have our depest sympathy. We are very sorry for your loss.


Larry Pagliaro posted on 1/26/13

I will always remember the great fun we had autocrossing and the friendship that went with the competition. I will greatly miss you.


NR posted on 2/23/13

May you take comfort of God's beautiful promise in John 5:28,29, which speaks of a beautiful ressurection that will occur here on earth


Laurie and Steve Schwab posted on 1/22/13

So very sorry to hear about our loss of Jim. It is just not fair. He was a dear sweet man and very kind to us "new kids" from Arizona. God's speed Jim! Love to Joan and all of your family and Corvette family too.


Mo and Scott Wheeler posted on 1/22/13

So sorry for the loss of Jim. Continued prayers for him and for Joan and the family.


Marty Papizan posted on 1/22/13

Sorry for your loss.


Bob and Cindy Morrison posted on 1/22/13

Our thoughts and prayers are with Joan and Jim's family. We have lost a wonderful friend that has left us with wonderful memories.


Pat & Ron Brown posted on 1/22/13

Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time.


Paul and Debi Hamersly posted on 1/22/13

Dear Joan,Debi and I have you and your family in our prayers. Jim will be missed by a huge family nationwide.


Don & Betty Parks posted on 1/22/13

This heartfelt message comes to you and your family today with true, sincere sympathy that no words can quite convey. Jim was a true "gentle" man, always with a smile on his face, and a willingness to help anyone. We will sincerely miss the time spent with him at the races and meetings. May God bless and comfort you in this time of sorrow.


Jack and Anne Carkner posted on 1/23/13

Our thoughts and prayers are with Joan and her family at this difficult time.Jim will always be remembered as one who was alwlays there when help was needed.Jack and Anne


Kevin & Jayne Reit posted on 1/23/13

Sorry to hear about your loss. You are in ourthoughts and prayers.


Jim Butler and Catherine Rees posted on 1/23/13

Joan and family, our sincere and heart felt condolences for your loss. Jim was a really great guy and we loved seeing and talking to the two of you at the governors' meetings and auto crosses. He will be sorely missed. God Bless you and your family, Joan (including Piper). Take care, my dear.


Kevin and Cathy Anthony posted on 1/23/13

Joan, Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. We cherish the time we spent with you and Jim autocrossing. He was a good and kind man.


Pamela Fox posted on 1/23/13

Hello Duffy: So so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayer are with you and your family. Hugs from Pam


Donn & Debbie Malwick posted on 1/23/13

Joan our thoughts and prayers are with you. Jim was a great guy, we really liked him. Blessings to you and your family. Jim will be missed.


Capital City Corvette Cluc posted on 2/10/13

We send our prayers and thoughts to the family and friends of Jim Thomas. He will be missed.