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Ernest A. ( Ernie) Thomas II

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Ernest A. Thomas II, "Ernie", age 75, of El Dorado Springs, Missouri, passed away on December 9, 2022, after a several-year struggle with inoperable brain cancer. Ernie was born August 28, 1947, to Ernest "Arvel" and Loreen Thomas in Santa Maria, California. He spent most of his life in southern and central California where he and his family attended the First Assembly of God church, participating particularly in music ministry. Ernie was an avid student of the Bible himself, having been raised by a strong woman of faith and sharing his mother's unwavering love for Jesus. He also had a great love for the ocean his entire life and loved spending time at the beaches.

Ernie joined the U.S. Navy at the age of 17 and completed his high school education while in the service, graduating from his hometown high school, Santa Marie High. He was on aircraft carriers for four tours in Vietnam in 1965, 1966, 1967, and 1968. He was proud to have been of service to his country which he loved so much. After being discharged from the Navy, Ernie went back to school, attending Riverside Community College, eventually transferred to and graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 1975, where he earned a Bachelor's degree in Biochemistry. He continued with postgraduate work for a Master's in business through Pepperdine University. Straight out of college Ernie was employed by Safeco Insurance Company for over 25 years, being responsible for offices in Washington, Arizona, Nevada, and California, retiring as a Regional Claims Manager. After retirement he dabbled in private insurance business with friends. Ernie enjoyed day-trading and participated in it for many years.

While residing in Phoenix, Arizona, Ernie met his wife Margaret (Peggy) Bishop. They married in 1984 and had two children, Dane Michauel and Alexandra Elizabeth.

Ernie's longtime dream was to own a ranch and raise cattle. He did extensive demographic research and decided at the age of 60 that he and Peggy would move to El Dorado Springs, Missouri in March of 2007 so he could fulfill that dream. He also got certified to teach while living in "Eldo" and taught biology, chemistry, and forensic science at the local high school for several years. He really enjoyed those "kids" and spoke of them often and fondly.

Ernie lived his dream. He loved God, his family, and his country. He passed from this world on December 9, 2022, with his wife Peggy by his side. Ernie was preceded in death by his parents, and two brothers-in-law, Bill Montello and Bill Ward, both of Santa Maria, California. He is survived by his wife, Peggy (Margaret) of 38 years, his son Dane Thomas (Emily) of Hemet, California, two granddaughters, his daughter Alexandra of Park City, Utah, two sisters, Linda Ward and Jackie Montello of Santa Maria, California, and numerous other family members, in-laws, and lifelong friends.

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