Joseph James Thomas


Joseph James Thomas passed peacefully, on February 27, 2022 at Sanford Medical Center, Fargo, ND. Joe was born on April 25, 1939 the oldest of seven children of John and Rose (Senger) Thomas, and grew up on the family farm outside of Michigan, ND.

Joe graduated from Michigan High School in 1957 and North Dakota State University in 1962 with a degree in Agriculture. He was a member of Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity. It was there he met Dona Rhines. Following college, he entered the Navy and returned home on leave to marry Dona in Michigan, ND on June, 13, 1964. Joe and Dona had three sons, Brian, Kenny, and Mike, and one daughter, Leah. During Joe’s career as an ag loan officer they moved throughout North Dakota making stops in Wahpeton, Bowbells, Rugby, Jamestown, Cooperstown, and ending up back in Wahpeton, with a brief time in Bad Axe, MI.

There is a saying that God didn’t make everything green and gold, only the best things. This applies to two of his lifelong passions, John Deere tractors and NDSU Bison football. Over the years Joe served with the Jaycees, American Legion, NDSU Teammakers, Kiwanis, Alphaen Male Chorus. Wahpeton school board, and Order of the Eastern Star. He enjoyed learning more about his Germans from Russia heritage. Joe adored his grandkids and was always committed to traveling to attend their various activities.

Joe is lovingly remembered by his wife, Dona, children Brian (Kim) Thomas, Kenny (Heather) Thomas, Mike Thomas, Leah (Travis) Oye; his grandchildren Ashley, Josh, Dan, Skylar, Morgen, Airasen, Emerson, and James. Joe was preceded in death by his parents John & Rose Thomas, sister Esther Kemp and grandsons Thomas Senger and Andrew Marvin. 

A prayer vigil will be held at Boulger Funeral Home on Monday, March 7th, 2022 at 7:00 pm with visitation starting at 6:00 pm. The funeral will be held at Nativity Catholic Church, Fargo, ND on Tuesday, March 8th at 2:00 pm, with a reception to follow for family and friends. To see a complete obituary, please visit the Boulger Funeral website.

Arrangements entrusted to the care of Boulger Funeral Home & Celebration of Life Center, Fargo. Online guestbook at

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