Ernest W. Thoma, 86

Ernest W. Thoma, 86

Ernest W. Thoma, 86, of Saint Donatus, Iowa passed away Tuesday February 18, 2020 at MercyOne in Dubuque.

Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, February 25, 2020 at Saint Donatus Catholic Church in Saint Donatus, Iowa with Fr. Rodney Allers officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. Visitation will be from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. Monday, February 24, 2020 at the Leonard Funeral Home & Crematory, 2595 Rockdale Road, where a parish wake service will be held at 3:00 p.m. Family and friends may also gather after 9:00 a.m. Tuesday at the church until time of mass.

Ernest was born on January 18, 1934 in Dubuque Iowa the son of Joseph and Frances (Meisenburg) Thoma. He farmed and lived his whole life in Saint Donatus. He married Alice M. Kerstein on February 27, 1960 at Saint Mary Catholic Church in East Dubuque, IL, and together they shared 54 years together until her passing on July 4, 2014.

Ernest’s life revolved around his passion for farming and his family. He farmed with the help of his wife and family. His farm was a complete operation with dairy cows, beef cattle, hogs and other various animals along with raising the crops to keep them fed. He instilled in his family a great work ethic and family values that continues today. He loved to be around children, especially his grandchildren and great grandchildren,  he would proudly share with them the farm history and tell stories about farming. All who knew Ernest will sadly miss him.

Ernest is survived by his five daughters, Wanda Thoma, Nancy Merfeld, Karen Thoma, Rebecca (Barry) Cox and Ellen Pfohl; three sons John (Kelly) Thoma, Earl (Jacki Schilling) Thoma and Scott (Christine Dobelmann) Thoma; 25 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren with 2 more expected soon; his two sisters Bernice Pottebaum and Patricia Klaas; three brothers Donald (Bertha) Thoma, Francis (Mary) Thoma and Richard Thoma; his sister-in-law Betsy Thoma, along with many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents Joseph and Frances; his wife Alice; a son Ernest Thoma Jr.; five brothers William, Arnold, Joseph, Victor, and Larry; one sister, Marie Barth; two brothers-in law Alfred Barth, Louis Pottebaum and Edwin Klaas; four sisters in-law Viola, Phyllis, Edna, and Ethel Thoma.

In lieu of flowers an Ernest Thoma memorial fund has been established.

The family would like to thank the nurses and staff of MercyOne especially Beth and Brianna for all the care they gave to Ernest.