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Terrace Thomas Sr.

Updated: Apr 5, 2023

Terrace LaRue Thomas Sr. had a reputation for always being late for everything. He was also quite strong-willed (a.k.a. stubborn). This kept him battling the debilitating effects of the diabetes/cancers he developed over the last 40 years as a result of his exposure to the chemical agent orange while in the military. On March 29, 2023, one day after entering the Good Samaritan Society Home in Indianola, IA, he was faster than family expected and escaped this life for the next at the age of 77.

Terrace (Terry) was born on July 17, 1945, to John and Ethel May (Brown) Thomas. Terry was educated in the Des Moines Independent School System. He graduated from Des Moines Technical School in 1963, where he participated in aviation lab. After graduation, he attended Iowa State University for a year.

Terry voluntarily joined the United States Air Force in 1964 where he was a munitions specialist. He enjoyed the travel and was stationed in Kunson, Korea for 18 months and Phucat Air Base in Vietnam for 12 months. He was honorably discharged in 1968.

Terry married Beverly May 3, 1974. The first seven years of their marriage flew by with Terry playing team sports: basketball, football, rugby and softball. He was a loyal fan of the Browns and the Lakers. Terry also loved Nascar and Formula 1 racing. He had to watch live (not recorded) so would be up all night to see who won. Each year, he would buy the model car of the Formula 1 winner and had quite a collection. He also raced HO scale slot cars on his own track in the basement.

After seven years, they decided it was time to start a family. They have two children: Eichelle and Terrace Jr. (T.J.). As their children grew, Terry enjoyed coaching them in track and little league football.

Once the children were on their own, Terry and Beverly had fun attending Smooth Jazz concerts as his declining health would allow and listening to his extensive collection of vinyl and CD’s. Terry had an impeccable fashion sense, and his wardrobe reflects that. He sincerely enjoyed dressing up in a freshly starched dress shirt (complete with French cuffs and cufflinks), a classy tie (often polka dotted) and dress suit...always topping off the outfit with a dress hat from his hat collection.

Many friends and family remain on this earth to cherish his memory. His wife, Beverly (Clark)

of 48 years from West Des Moines; his daughter Eichelle (husband Jeffery) Thomas of Brentwood, CA and their children Harley and Jeffrey Jr (J.J.); and his son TJ (wife Amber) of Waukee, IA and their children Kyler and Maya.

A private burial of cremated remains at the Iowa Veterans Cemetary in Van Meter, IA will be held at a later date.

Memorial contributions for Terrace Sr. may be directed to the Stuart Scott Memorial Cancer Research Fund – V Foundation (


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