Obituary: Michael Thoma

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Michael Keith Thoma, age 74, of Bettendorf, formerly of Durant and Clermont, Iowa, passed away Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, at Genesis Health System- East, Davenport. A memorial gathering was held from 5 to 7 p.m., Monday, Nov. 9, at Bentley Funeral Home, Durant.  Burial of his cremated remains will take place at a later date in God’s Acres Cemetery in Clermont. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital, Clermont Historical Society or to the family.  Online condolences may be left at www.bentleyfuneralhome.com.

Michael was born in Postville, Iowa, on May 31, 1946, the son of Keith and Chrystol L. (Miller) Thoma.  He graduated from Durant High School with the Class of 1964.  After graduation, Mike proudly served his country in the United States Air Force.  Mike married Lana Schlotfeldt-Jungjohann on Dec. 31, 1970, in Bettendorf. 

Mike received his degree in hotel and restaurant management from Des Moines Area Community College.  He owned and operated M.T. Bar, later called the Woodshed in Eldridge, from 1973-1977.  In 1978, Mike was hired as the executive chef for the Iowa Machine Shed in Davenport.  Mike won numerous awards from the Iowa Pork Producers, and many of his recipes are still on the menu today.  He later became a partner in Iowa Trucking Company and Gramma’s Kitchen restaurants in Walcott until his retirement.  In his retirement, Mike continued to consult for Heart of America Restaurants for several years.

Mike loved his country fiercely. He was a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association.  He also loved hunting, wildlife conservation, all manner of firearms, cigars, B&B, Old Milwaukee and Clint Eastwood movies.  Being the heart of the Thoma family, he always wanted us to observe the traditions set forth by our elders. He always managed to bring the holiday cheer (Rumplemintz toasts) and to keep each other close, even when separated by thousands of miles. 

Mike will be lovingly remembered by his wife of 49 years, Lana of Bettendorf; two sons, Keith (Keri) Thoma of Nashville, Tenn., and David (Sharon) Jungjohann of Bettendorf; one daughter, Kathy (Ron) Cravatta of Orlando, Fla.; six grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; his brothers, Jeffrey (Bonnie Staggs) Thoma of Durant, Christie Thoma of Durant, Tom (Trudy) Hansen of Enoch, Utah, and Ron (Kristy) Hansen of Durant; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, stepfather, Oliver Hansen; his daughter, Brandi Thoma; his brother, Mark Hansen; and a sister-in-law, Carol Thoma.

 

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