John R. “Roger” Thomas, 71, passed away September 19, 2019

John R. “Roger” Thomas, 71, of Benton Harbor, passed away on Thursday, September 19, 2019, at Hanson Hospice Center.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, September 27, 2019, at 10AM, at St. Bernard Catholic Church, 580 Columbus Ave., with Fr. Michael Rejent officiating. Friends may visit with the family on Thursday, September 26, 2019, from 5pm until 7pm at Starks & Menchinger Chapel & Cremation Services, 2650 Niles Rd., St. Joseph. A rosary will be recited at 7pm. Memorial contributions may be made to Hanson Hospice Center, St. Bernard Catholic Church or Spina Bifida Association.

Roger was born on October 30, 1947, to John & Catherine (Foster) Thomas in Roseland, VA. On January 21, 1983, Roger married the love of his life Valerie Hosbein. As a successful businessman, Roger owned and operated many businesses over the years including an insulation business called ICMS.

Roger had a deep passion for Corvettes and was a founding member and former president of Corvette Coventry Club of Southwestern Michigan. During the summer months, he traveled across the country racing one of his beloved Corvettes and in 1985 was recognized as the No. 2 male driver for the National Council of Corvette Clubs. In addition to his involvement in the local Corvette club, Roger served as a National Council of Corvette Clubs board member for 4 years and actively helped to raise money and awareness for Spina Bifida. When he wasn't racing or showing one of his Corvettes, Roger loved watching sports, especially NASCAR, and was a proud member of St. Bernard Catholic Church.

Roger was a wonderful man and will be dearly missed by his family and the wonderful friends he has made throughout his life.

Roger is survived by his children, Jay (Paige) Thomas of Charlotte, NC, Brian (Megan) Curneal of Ft. Worth, TX, Heather (Keith) Curneal-Brookhouse of Sherwood, OR and Chris (Katie) Curneal of Zeeland, MI; grandchildren, Jake and Joe Brookhouse, John and Jessie Curneal, Matthew, Alison and Elizabeth Curneal; siblings, Shirley Driscoll of Chicago, IL and Ray Thomas of Stuart Draft; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Roger was preceded in death by his wife Valerie Thomas and parents, John & Catherine Thomas. 

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