Myles J. Thomas ‘Jack’


Myles J. Thomas ‘Jack’


Jack Thomas

Husband, father, father- in-law, grandpa, papa, great-grandpa, uncle and friend, Myles J. Thomas “Jack” passed away Friday, April 26, 2019, at the age of 88. He was surrounded by his loving family.

Jack was born on Sept. 22, 1930, to Myles and Virginia Campbell Thomas. He graduated from Helena High School in 1948, and then he started college at DePauw University. He later transferred to the University of Montana, where he joined the Sigma Chi fraternity; he found his lifelong friends and brothers there. During his junior year of Law School at the University, he met the love of his life, Alice Lee Hodges “DeeDee,” as he moved her and his younger sister into the dormitory. They eloped in Missoula on May 29, 1954, which was about 10 days before his graduation and admission to the bar. In September 1954, he reported for duty in the United States Navy as an Ensign for two years of active duty on the USS Manchester. Upon his release from the Navy, he continued his education in Law at New York University, where he received his master’s in Taxation. After graduating, Jack and DeeDee moved back to Montana and made their home in Billings on Clark Avenue, where they raised their five children and countless others.

In 1957, he joined the law firm of Coleman, Lamey and Crowley, known today as Crowley Fleck. This launched a career that spanned over 50 years. To Jack, clients weren’t just clients — they were friends. Coworkers were not just coworkers — they were family. In addition to practicing law, Jack never knew how to say “no.” He was actively involved in the community, serving on various boards and committees, including the YMCA, where he was a member of the National Board YMCA of the USA, Past Exalted Ruler of the Billings Elks, St. Patrick’s Parish Council, and many other clubs and service organizations, such as Rotary.

Jack’s many hobbies included skiing, working out every morning (a.k.a. coffee club), taking long road trips with his family while making sure there was a history lesson included, tending his roses in the back yard, and playing golf at the Hilands Golf Club, where his family has been members at for over 50 years.

He was preceded in death by his son, Mike.

This amazing man is survived by his beautiful love of his life of 65 years, DeeDee; his children, Mark (Carol) Thomas, Matt Thomas, Shelly (Kyle) Kite, Susie (Steve) Cranston and Bonnie (Jim) Mountain; his grandchildren, Andrew (Sara) , Steven ( Angie), Matt, Kara, Alicia, Becca (Paul) and Jamie; and great-grandchildren Sadie, Austin, Landon, Logan and Mark Avery.

Our family would like to thank Father John Houlihan, Jaysun Mims and the wonderful staff at Langemo Cottage on the Saint John’s campus. Your compassion, empathy and love we will always appreciate, more than words can express.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the “Thomas Kids Gym” at the Billings Family YMCA or the Walk to End Alzheimer’s “Jack’s Tribe.”

One of our dad’s favorite quotes, “Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming … ‘WooHoo! What a ride!’”

Memorial Mass will be at 12 noon on Thursday, May 23, at St. Patrick Co-Cathedral, 215 N. 31st St., Billings. There will be a reception from 4 to 6:30 p.m. at the Billings Petroleum Club.

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11 thoughts on “Myles J. Thomas ‘Jack’”

  1. Georgia Feisthamel

    Will always remember his love for life, family and friends. A smile and support I will always treasure. Will miss you.

  2. I have wonderful memories of your dad. Susie as he helped raise me too! I’ll never forget those trips to Big Sky and how he yelled at us for running on the greens, but we apologized and he hugged us! He was a great dad, husband, and example of how to live life!

  3. Jack was my father during my AFS year, he taught me so many things during my stay, he taught by his example, yes, he always preached by example, He was the sweetest man I met. I will remember him forever, My love to Dee Dee and the rest of the family. Mónica.

  4. Jack was a great mentor and colleague during the years I spent at Crowley in the late 70s, and a lifelong friend after that. I remember, and try to emulate every day, his unbounding good cheer. At the law school in Missoula, we have a photo of Jack, smiling of course, in the Student Services office. Whenever I go there, I look at it and silently say to myself “Hiya!” 🙂 What a great life, and impact, and loss. Much love to DeeDee and all of you.
    Cynthia Ford “Inky”

  5. Jack and DeeDee and myself became very good friends when they moved into Mission Ridge and their apartment was across the hall from my mother’s apartment. When my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2015, both Jack and DeeDee offered their assistance to help our family out with anything they could do. They are both members of God’s Family. God Bless the Thomas Family!!!

  6. I am sorry to hear of Jack’s passing. He will be greatly missed. My thoughts and prayers are with the family. Jim Clark

  7. I’m sorry for your loss, Thomas family. Having grown up around Bonnie, Mike, and Mark, I know Jack was a wonderful father and role model. He’ll be missed, but I’m confident his and Dee Dee’s legacy lives on in their children.

  8. I’m so sorry for your loss Dee Dee and Family. Jack was always my favorite boss when I was his secretary at Crowley in the early 70’s and a lifetime friend from then on. God bless you.

  9. We are so sad to hear of Jacks passing. As a young kid in the neighborhood, jack and Dee Dee we’re so kind to me and always involved in school functions. I admired this family so much. All our love and prayers.
    Stacey and Greg Reiter

  10. DeeDee….I am so sorry to have missed the service for Jack today and just wanted to be there to show my support for you and your family. You and Jack were a very special part of my time at Orchard and you both touched so many children with your generosity and caring spirit. I am sorry for your loss but I know your faith and courage will carry you through this difficult time. Jack is at peace now and his new life will be beautiful and he will always be by your side. Your journey with Alzheimer’s has been so challenging but as always you have persevered with strength, love and your devotion for Jack, he was so blessed to have you and your family. I loved my years working with you at Orchard and you have a special place in my heart, dear lady. Take care of yourself and stay strong…you are in my prayers. God Bless..Loretta Doll

  11. Jack fit the definition of a life well lived. How do I know? Jack lived the two greatest commandments: Jack loved the Lord and he loved his neighbor.

    Jack touch my life in many positive ways. I am a lawyer in large part because of Jack. Jack helped me more than once.

    DeeDee, Mark, Matt, Shelly, Susie, and Bonnie: prayers be with you during your time of loss. ❤️❤️❤️

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