A few days before his passing, Wendell Gary Thomas, age 80 of Tracy, suddenly looked up from dozing and with the Thomas twinkle in his eye announced, “Well, I’ve been enrolled in heaven!” He passed away peacefully on Tuesday, April 2, 2024 at Prairie Home Hospice McLaughlin House with his family at his side. Memorial Services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Friday, April 12, 2024 at Tracy United Methodist Church. Visitation will be from 5:00-7:00 p.m. Thursday, April 11, 2024 and one hour before the Memorial Service at Tracy United Methodist Church. Private family interment will be in the Bethel Cemetery of Garvin. In lieu of flowers, memorials to Tracy Food Shelf or Prairie Home Hospice are preferred.  Stephens Funeral Service – Tracy Area Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.

Wendell Gary Thomas was born September 30, 1943 to Edwin and Dorothy (Doble) Thomas in Tracy, Minnesota. He was baptized and confirmed at Tracy United Methodist Church and remained a lifelong member. Wendell grew up on a farm in Springdale Township. He graduated from Tracy Public School in 1961 and trade school in 1962. Wendell served in the National Guard from 1965-1971. In 1974, he struck up a conversation with a pretty gal at church named Adele Ruth Marker who became the love of his life. On April 23, 1976 they were married at Garvin Congregation Church. Wendell and Adele were blessed with 50 years of love and 48 years of marriage, a daughter, son and daughter-in-law, and six grandchildren.  Wendell Thomas worked as a farm laborer for 4 years and then began his career with 17 years at R.E. Reutzal Pipeline Construction and 27 years at Northern Border Pipeline. In retirement, he spent many harvests driving truck and assisting in the fields.  Wendell had a rich community life and was a member of Tracy United Methodist Church, the National Association of Heavy Equipment Operating Engineers, Tracy Community Band, Shades of the Past Car Club, the MN Street Rod Association, and the Tracy Lions Club. Wendell enjoyed flipping cars, lawn mowers, and tractors. He served his community with Lions Club projects, delivering Meals on Wheels, working at the food shelf and ushering at church. Wendell loved spending time up north at the cabin on Kego Lake and attending the grandkids’ activities. He enjoyed thrifting denim shirts for his collection and marveled at how his vehicle always seemed to drive itself to Dairy Queen!

Wendell is survived by his wife Adele; children: Laura and David (Lindsey); grandchildren: Owen, Julia, Vivian, Isaac, Emmie, and Samuel; brother Arlen (Linda); Antonio and Maria Trejo who are just like family; and many special cousins, nephews, and nieces. He is preceded in death by his parents Edwin & Dorothy, in-laws Wilbur & Ruth Marker, brothers-in-law: Gene Thompson and Curtis Marker and his wife Beth Marker; and niece Gretchen Thompson.  Wendell had a gentle, humble servant’s heart and touched many lives in ways that only he could; there are many we may never know about but he never kept count. Blessed be his memory.