Gregory Dean Thomas
Gregory Dean Thomas, 57, of Shelby died peacefully early Wednesday morning, Dec. 9, 2009, ending his six-month struggle with an aggressive brain cancer known as Glioblastoma Multiforme. His daughter, Jennifer Guisinger, and his girlfriend, Bobbie Baith, were at his side.
Greg, a long-time Shelby resident and 14-year employee at Pepsi in Mansfield, had recently started his own business – Alliance Lawn Care – last spring before his brain cancer diagnosis and subsequent surgery and radiation treatments left him physically incapacitated. Greg was cared for in his home by Jennifer and Bobbie, both from Shelby; daughter Kimberly Langston of Grand Junction, Colo.; and his father, Robert, and stepmother Mary Jane Thomas of Uniontown, Ohio. They were supported by in-home care from MedCentral Hospice before being transferred to the Hospice of North Central Ohio’s Hospice House in Ashland to receive around-the-clock medical supervision during his final days.
A former competitor in country two-step dance, Greg enjoyed country music and old-style movies and westerns. He spent his days outdoors as often as possible, thriving on physical work like landscaping and maintenance duties. Greg was most often seen sporting a dark tan that highlighted his bright blue eyes and enjoying his favorite Marlboro® cigarettes.
Greg was born in Indianapolis, Ind., on Sept. 13, 1952, to Robert and Eva (Reese) Thomas as the second of seven children. He grew up in Detroit, Mich., before he and his former wife Lorraine and their two children moved to Shelby in 1982 to manage Crose Plastics. Greg is survived by his daughter Kimberly and her husband Monty Langston; daughter Jennifer, her husband John Guisinger III and their three children, Johnny, Katie and Haley; a daughter in Indiana, Bobbie Ricker, and her husband Chris and three children, Audrey, Lany and Ellie; and a former stepdaughter, Misty Tesso, and her daughter, Caley, in Crestline. Greg is also survived by his father, Robert, and brothers: Robert “Jeff” Thomas and his wife, Gail, of Jacksonville, Fla.; William “Brian” Thomas and wife, Loralee, in Anderson, Ind.; and Ronald “Scott” Thomas of Newton Falls, Ohio. He is also survived by his sisters: Valerie Statheros and her husband, Van, in Wellsberg, W.Va.; Laurie Kaufman and her husband, John, in Jacksonville, Fla.; and Elaine “Renee” Ireland in San Diego, Calif. Greg was preceded in death by his mother Eva Lahser and an infant son, Mark.
Turner Funeral Home, 168 West Main Street, Shelby will host calling hours from Noon-2 PM on Sunday, Dec. 13, 2009 closing with a brief remembrance ceremony at 2pm with Rev. Lester Champer, officiating.. The family requests that donations be made to Catholic Charities or either local hospice organization in lieu of flowers. On-line condolences may be made to penwellturner.com