In loving memory of

Richard Jack Thomas, Jr
September 2, 1947 - March 19, 2020

Richard "Rich" Jack Thomas, Jr. - Rochester
Richard Jack Thomas, Jr., 72, of Rochester, MN, died Thursday, March 19, 2020 at St. Mary's Hospital.
Rich was born September 2, 1947 in Mason City, IA to Richard and Grace Thomas. He graduated from Titonka High School in 1965. After high school he attended Baptist Bible College. He enlisted in the Navy Reserve in 1968 and later served in Vietnam. On November 28, 1970, he married his high school sweetheart, Iris E. Michaelsen, at Calvary Baptist Church in Rochester, MN. The couple has since made their home in Rochester. Rich spent most of his career at IBM and has most recently worked for Walmart.
Rich played on his high school basketball team and continued playing long into his adult years. He also enjoyed watching basketball, along with all kinds of sports. For many years, he liked photography and was an avid reader.
Rich placed his trust personally in Jesus Christ as his Savior. He was a longtime member of Calvary Baptist Church in Rochester. He taught Sunday School and ministered in a local nursing home. He enjoyed listening to music. Early on, he sang individually and as part of the choir.
Rich enjoyed traveling, family vacations and weekend excursions. He loved being together during the holidays and visiting his family. Through the years, Rich attended and supported many sporting events, music, and drama performances of his children and grandchildren.
Rich is survived by his wife, Iris of Rochester; son Brian (Brenda) of Anoka, MN; daughter Tara of Quincy, IL; six grandchildren - Angela, Jessica, Nathan, Matthew, Lindsey, and Alyssa; four brothers and two sisters - Phil, Naomi, Dan, Judy, Tim and Mark. Rich was preceded in death by his parents Richard and Grace.
The family will hold a private burial. A memorial service will be held at Calvary Baptist Church at a later date.
Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes is honored to be serving the Thomas family. To leave a special memory or condolence please visit


Mahlon and Faye Geib wrote on Mar 31, 2020:

"Iris, just learned of your loss tonight; so sorry to hear. We extend our sympathy to you. May the Lord comfort you with wonderful memories. Our love and prayers to you."

Mahlon and Faye Geib wrote on Mar 31, 2020:

"Iris, just learned tonight of your loss - so sorry to hear. We extend our sympathy to you. May the Lord comfort you with many wonderful memories. Our love and prayers, Mahlon and Faye"

Dwight LaPine wrote on Mar 28, 2020:

"Rich had an excellent Spirit. He had a gentle quiet disposition with a warm smile. Rich will be greatly missed. I can imagine how precious it was in heaven when he was welcomed home."

Michael Siebenaler wrote on Mar 23, 2020:

"So sorry to see of Rich's passing. Lots of good memories flood back of my days working with him at IBM. I always remember the way he laughed and also how he made me laugh. "

David and Paulette Johnson wrote on Mar 22, 2020:

"So sorry for your loss, loved reading the obituary for Rich, so much that we did not know; we will always remember our lunches out together, the chuckles we had; he liked to laugh and have fun; so glad we have those memories of him; God Bless His family; we know the Lord Jesus will comfort all of you, and heal your broken hearts; that is what our Lord and Savior does; thank God for that."

Lanny Nihart wrote on Mar 21, 2020:

"I had the blessing and privilege to coach Richard?s daughter Tara in collegiate volleyball at Faith Baptist Bible College. Richard was always very supportive of our program and always encouraged me! He also provided great advice when it was needed! Greater than his understanding of athletics was his love for his wife, daughter and family. His greatest love and testimony was for his savior, the Lord Jesus Christ! So thankful I had the privilege to know Richard and his wife, and Tara! "

Mickey Farlow wrote on Mar 21, 2020:

"One of my favorite memories was when Rich and Iris and my wife and I met in Waterloo, Iowa when our first Grandchild, Angela, was born. It was the first grandchild for both of us and we were all so excited. After spending time with Angela our two families went out to eat. Rich and I had both gone to Bible College and we both enjoyed playing basketball so we had plenty to talk about. Of course we also enjoyed talking about Angela. Over the years we would periodically meet at our grandchildren's events. I always enjoyed talking with Rich. "

Veronica Theobald wrote on Mar 21, 2020:

"My heart goes out to you, Iris. It's been many years since we have seen each other but you are one of those people that had such an impact on my life. I am so sorry for your loss."

Tracie Haner wrote on Mar 20, 2020:

"We are so sorry for your loss. Our hearts and prayers are with you during this difficult time."

Tom & Linda Stenzel wrote on Mar 20, 2020:

"It has been a pleasure as a neighbor of 33 years in getting to know Rich. Always a very kind and good neighbor to have. Iris, know that we are always here if you need anything. "

Pat Kirkham wrote on Mar 20, 2020:

"Rich was a co worker of mine she was kind to everyone always very helpful will miss him praying for your family ."