Cover photo for Byron Thomas's Obituary
Byron Thomas Profile Photo

Byron Thomas

September 11, 1951 — May 9, 2022

Byron Thomas

Our ol’ cowboy, loving husband, dad, grandpa, friend, mentor and hero, Byron William Thomas, passed away comfortably surrounded by his family on May 9, 2022. Byron spent the last year of his life in a valiant fight with glioblastoma. Throughout this chapter of his life, he exemplified the words he taught us to live by – to be fearless in the face of our challenges. As his family, it is difficult to express the magnitude felt by the loss of our rock and foundation, but we take comfort in knowing that he endured to the end and is now fully healed.

Byron was born September 11, 1951 in Salt Lake City, Utah to William Brady and Elise Poor Thomas as the oldest of seven children. The foundation of his hard work ethic developed while working with his father and siblings on their family farm in Idaho. He attended high school in Taylorsville, Utah where he met his sweetheart, Sharlene Jansson. They were married for eternity on January 8, 1973 in the Salt Lake Temple. Though he has always had a deep love of the west, Michigan became the home for his family after moving for work in 1988.

Byron had a long and successful career in the asphalt and petroleum industries in the Southeast Michigan area working with Thompson McCully Company and Warner Petroleum Corporation for nearly 40 years. He developed many deep and lasting friendships and has been described by many as a leader and mentor in his field. He is well respected and admired for the honesty and integrity that he so naturally displayed. He was never afraid of putting in the hard work and loved the thrill of chasing the deal.

Byron was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He volunteered and served in many different callings, including Bishop for the local congregation for seven years. He was especially dedicated to the youth of the church and embraced the role of being a mentor during pivotal years in their lives. He valued the time spent facilitating the church’s addiction recovery program that included weekly sessions inside a federal prison. The impact of his love and service have been felt by countless individuals all over the world.

Byron personified everything that a husband and father should be. He held Sharlene in the highest esteem and their example of unconditional love is one we will all strive to achieve. He gave so willingly of himself and always put his family’s needs in front of his own. Despite his demanding work schedule and commitments to the church, he made time for his kids’ swim meets, softball games and other school events. He always challenged them to compete with themselves above all else. He created many “life-changing experiences” to instill a sense of hard work and dedication in each of his children.

One of Byron’s favorite sayings was, “If I had known grandkids would be so much fun, I would have had them first.” His grandkids were truly his favorite people and he always made time for a spin on the tractor or four-wheeler, to build a tower, or give a horsey ride. Each of them has had a special bond with Grandpa, and he has been a beacon of strength and encouragement for them as they navigated the phases of their young lives.

Byron is survived by his wife, Sharlene and five children, Jeremy (Amy), Nathan, Ryan (Sara), Alisha (Nick) and Shayann (William); grandchildren, Zachary and Ali, Ashley and Brian, Courtney, Kevin, Brady, Mackenzie, Alison, Riley, Avery, Lauren and Chase; great grandchildren, Jett, Josephina, and Sophie. Additionally, he is survived by his siblings, Mark (Carolyn), Kelly (Teri), Melanie (Brad), Lindsay (Sylvia), Cindy (Phil), and many nieces and nephews who adore their “Uncle Dudley.”

Byron is preceded in death by his parents, Bill and Elise and his brother, Danny.

Byron was a master at seeing and acting on opportunities to serve and enrich the lives of others with no thought of recognition for himself, only the promise to pay it forward. He was an avid supporter of the American Red Cross and was a proud donor of nearly 25 gallons of blood. As a family, we invite anyone who is willing and able, to please make a blood donation in his honor. In lieu of flowers or monetary donations, please take your family out to dinner.

In his words, “This time was good, next time will be better.”

A viewing will be held Friday, May 13, 2022 from 4-8 pm at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints chapel, located at 1385 Green Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48105.

Saturday, May 14, 2022, a Memorial Service will be held at 11 am with a viewing prior at 10 am at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints chapel, located at 1385 Green Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48105.

A viewing will take place Wednesday, May 18, 2022 from 10-11:30 am at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints chapel, located at 13071 South Pioneer Street (6000 West), Herriman, UT 84096. Byron will be laid to rest in a private burial at Herriman Cemetery, Herriman, UT.

Past Services


Friday, May 13, 2022

4:00 - 8:00 pm (Mountain time)

Chapel at 1385 Green Road

1385 Green Rd, Ann Arbor, MI 48105

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