Thomas, Jeffrey Charles of Minnetonka, Minnesota, passed away at home on March 20, surrounded by his loving family. He is survived by his wife, Kathleen Thomas, and sister, Diane O’Brien. He was most proud of his children Erin (Matt) Spencer, Lara (Erik) Olson, Adrienne Thomas, and Patrick (Jessica) Thomas, and his grandchildren Isabella Thomas; Mina, Evelyn, and Torin Spencer; and Rosemarie and Arnet Thomas.
Jeff was born in Syracuse, New York in 1947. He attended the University of Buffalo where he played football. Jeff joined the Army and served in Vietnam from 1968 to 1969. He was married in January 1970 to Kathleen Sheridan.
After leaving the Army, he followed in the footsteps of his grandfather and father in the food brokerage business. The Thomas family moved through cities across the Northeast and Midwest before settling in Minnetonka in 1993. During a successful career in retail food sales, Jeff launched and sold products ranging from apple juice to shredded potatoes and finished his working life as the Chairman of the National Frozen and Refrigerated Foods Association. He was a lifelong athlete, competitor, and fan of sports who loved cheering on his kids and grandkids.
Jeff loved paddling in the Boundary Waters; enjoyed simple pleasures, like a Costco hot dog or watching the sunset by any lake with a loon on it; and lived for a good mystery novel.
The family wishes to thank Allina Hospice for all of their support and kindness during his illness.
A gathering will be held on Saturday, April 15, starting at 12 p.m., with a memorial service at 1 p.m. at the Memorial Chapel of Lakewood Cemetery, 3600 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis, 55408. In lieu of flowers, donations in Jeff's memory may be made to the ICA Food Shelf, where he volunteered during his retirement.
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