Russell Byron Thomas, beloved husband, father, brother, grandfather, great-grandfather, and friend, left this world on March 21st, 2023, after a valiant and stoic struggle with cancer.
He was born in Lark, Utah, on August 21st, 1941, to Byron Gray Thomas and Dora Verlie Brady. Sadly, his father was killed in a mine fire when he was nine. Fortunately, Dora married Charles Campbell in 1951. Then they moved to Rupert, Idaho, where Charles owned a furniture store. As a teenager, Russ spent most of his time working on Campbell’s 3600-acre farm. There, he developed his love for the outdoors, a favorite pastime he shared with his wife, children, grandchildren, and friends. After graduation, Russ served an LDS Mission in New England. He then joined the United States Air Force, becoming part of the in-flight refueling crew for the B-52 bomber. He later returned home and attended Utah State University, where he studied metallurgy. He had a career as a highly-skilled structural steel fabricator, with some of his work including buildings like the John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California, and the arena that serves as the home of the Utah Jazz. He was always proud to point out the many projects he was part of.
In his early adult life, he married Linda Petersen, then later divorced. Out of that union, he had three children; his daughter and twin boys, whom he loved with his whole heart.
It was Valentine’s Day in 1988 when he married his sweetheart, Susan Neilson-Thomas. Later they were sealed in the Salt Lake LDS Temple for time and all eternity. Together they spent 35 years making memories of traveling, camping, fishing, hunting, and loving each other. The love they shared has been seen and felt by everyone who crossed paths with them; the shining light in their eyes was hard to miss—eternal companions, as their love will continue into the next life. As a member of the LDS church, he served most recently as a temple ordinance worker alongside Sue in a calling he loved dearly.
Russ often had a way of quietly observing the world around him finding the beauty in the simplest of things. The lives of countless people have been enriched by knowing this intelligent, kind, gentle, and generous man.
He is survived by his wife, Susan Thomas; children Stacey Lee (Matt), Eric Todd (Leslie), and Jason Russell (Amanda), nine grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Russ is preceded in death by his parents, Byron Gray Thomas and Dora Verlie Brady, Brothers Eugene Thomas (Joyce) and William Thomas (Elise), and his first wife, Linda Petersen (Allen).
Services will be held at 8435 South 2700 West in West Jordan, Utah. A viewing will be held Friday, 3/24/23, from 6:30 – 8:30 pm and Saturday, 3/25/23, from 9:30 – 10:30 am. Funeral services will begin at 11:00 am. Graveside service will follow at the West Jordan City cemetery located at 7925 South 1300 West.