Keith Thoma

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Keith Thoma, 89, of Garnavillo, died Thursday, August 27, 2015, at the Elkader Care Center.

Visitation was Sunday, Aug. 30, at Tuecke-Allyn Funeral Home, Garnavillo, and one hour before services at the church.

Funeral services were Monday, Aug. 31, at St. Peter Lutheran Church, Garnavillo, conducted by Rev. Hillary Burns-Kite.

Inurnment was at the Garnavillo Community Cemetery with military honors.

Keith was born on Sept. 9, 1925, in Garnavillo, the son of Willis and Nettie (Schlake) Thoma. 

Keith attended and graduated from the Garnavillo High School. Shortly after high school, Keith joined the United States Marine Corps serving in WWII at the Battle of Iwo Jima. Keith received his honorable discharge on Aug. 15, 1946, and returned to Garnavillo. 

On Oct. 22, 1947, Keith was united in marriage with Ilo Troester at St. Peter Lutheran Church in Garnavillo where they were later blessed with four children. In his early career, Keith was the assistant butter maker for the Garnavillo Creamery and later built the Thoma Dairy Bar. Living so many years in Garnavillo, Keith made several civic contributions. He served 35 years on the Garnavillo Fire Department, and 25 of those years Keith held the position of treasurer/secretary. He was a charter member of the Clay-Gar American Legion, Lions Club and the Guttenberg Country Club.

Keith served on the Garnavillo Community Cemetery Association for many years and served as sexton. He participated on the NICC Scholarship Foundation, served on the St. Peter Church Council and was past president of the council as well as serving on the Garnavillo City Council. He served on many other boards, committees and special needs. When Keith could find free time, he certainly enjoyed fishing, golfing, attending Marine Corps reunions and traveling with his wife Ilo. Keith was extremely proud of his children and grandchildren.

Keith is survived by his wife of 67 years, Ilo; three children, Linda Szemkus of Donahue, Lee Ann (Steven) Lazok of Katy, Texas and Rory (Theresa) Thoma of Elkader; eight grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; two step-great-grandchildren and many other relatives and friends. 

He was preceded in death by his parents; one son, Randy; a sister in infancy and a son-in-law, John Szemkus.

Condolences may be left at

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