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Thomas, Dick

March 22, 2017

dick thomasDick Thomas, 87, died Wednesday, March 22, 2017, from complications of Parkinson's Disease. Born Sept. 2, 1929, to Frances P. (Fliess) and Daniel J. Thomas in Kenosha, Wisconsin, he attended St. George School, Kenosha, and St. Catherine's High School, Racine. Dick completed college at St. Francis de Sales Seminary and was ordained a priest in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee in 1956. He was associate pastor at parishes in Elm Grove, Racine, Whitefish Bay, Waukesha, Fond du Lac and Milwaukee; led Marriage Encounters; served as spiritual and regional director of Christian Family Movement and director of Cursillo; co-founded the North Shore Human Relations Council. Dick completed a master's in adult development at the University of Chicago and three-year practicum in psychotherapy. He was campus minister for the UW-Whitewater (1975-83). Upon leaving ministry in 1985, Dick served as a therapist and activist. He married Mary M. Conarchy in 1986. Dick was a psychotherapist in marriage & family, addictions and spiritual counseling for 22 years. He volunteered with Red Cross as a mental health first responder, including two weeks in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina; counselor with Restorative Justice; tutor at Repairers of the Breach and Milwaukee Achiever. Full of life and love, Dick retired in 2008 but was anything but retiring. Even as PD symptoms advanced - "amazing and amusing" (his words) as these were - his dauntless spirit didn't get him down. He kept enjoying reading, meditation, writing, listening to music, watching good movies and Charlie Rose interviews. Deep appreciation goes out to everyone who helped Dick and his family during his illness. He is survived by his beloved wife Mary, daughter Rachel and grandson Gavin; brothers Milan (Dolores), Jack; sisters Ellen Wollenberg, Joan (John) Anderson and Bea (Bob) Oats; mother-in-law Mary E. Conarchy; sisters-in-law Bridget, Jane, Anne, Maureen and Jacque; brothers-in-law William, Kyran, Eric, Tom and Mark; nieces, nephews and cousins galore. Dick was preceded in death by his brother Gene and sister Betty. Visitation will be from 9:30 AM to 10:45 AM, with the funeral liturgy at 11 AM on Saturday, April 1, at St. Alphonsus Church, 6060 W. Loomis Road, Greendale, WI. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to St. Alphonsus Parish.

Dick joined CORPUS in 1975