Perry Ellis Thomas, 58, of Lake Odessa, MI, passed away February 16, 2020, from injuries sustained in an accident at his home.
Born June 13, 1961 in Ionia to Leroy and Erma Thomas, Perry was recently preceded in death by his father Leroy, life-long best friend Ron Possehn, and is survived by mother Erma, siblings Tina (& Greg), Dennis, Andy (& Marnie), Emmy (& Kevin); nieces and nephews Ben, Joshua, Jillian, August, Charlotte, Harrison, Derrick, and Ivan.
Though he spent much of his life close to home, Perry always loved to be on the move, and his travels took him across the United States and all over the world - Egypt, Syria, & the Philippines were all places he wandered – as well as every country road in central Michigan. Perry was never more at ease than taking the backroads, regardless of where he was heading. His vehicles rarely enjoyed the luxury of travel on pavement.
By just being himself, Perry never failed to have a big impact on everyone who knew him and everything he touched. If you counted Perry as your friend, you certainly know very well the loyal, kind, and gentle person he was. You also probably enjoyed his DIY fireworks displays at the 4th of July, or the bonfires that were always built just a little too big – Perry loved plotting how next year we were “going to really think big”.
Though he never married or had children he relished the role of “funcle”, the fun uncle that pushed the envelope of birthday and Christmas gifts with fire-starting kits, lottery tickets, hatchets, jackknives…and best of all…fireworks! He would have considered himself a loner, but never lonely with the great number of people who enjoyed his company. Perry was always quick with some interesting story about why sideburns are called sideburns, or how Lewis & Clark navigated by reckoning; he had such an active curiosity that always kept him engaged - and engaging.
Perry appreciated life played out at a slower pace and spent much of it in the peace and quiet of cutting his own path. Even at the age of 8, he forged out into Grandpa Jackson’s woods to make a camp and spend the night. Perry spent many years doing beautiful work as a highly-skilled finish carpenter, though deep down he preferred to leave things just a little bit rustic.
No matter how hard you might try, it was impossible to ever be angry with Perry, his tender heart, playful spirit, and honest intentions gave you no choice but to say to each other “Oh, that Perry, you gotta love him” - and all who knew him well truly did.
If you are one of the many who loved Perry, please join us to gather and celebrate his life in the evening of June 13, 2020 at the Thomas farm, with fireworks and a bonfire that even Perry would be proud of.
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