Rod Thomas


Rod Thomas passed unexpectedly, but peacefully, in his favorite chair at home in Manassa, Colorado on Jan. 19, 2023. “Rod” was born to Jennings and Oneta Jensen Thomas on March 26, 1941, in Alamosa, Colo. Raised in the San Luis Valley, Rod graduated from Manassa High School in 1959. Soon after, he was called to the Eastern States New York Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In 1965, he met his sweetheart, Sandra Hodnett, in Denver, Colo., and they were married in November of that year. They lived in Denver while he trained as a plumber before “temporarily” moving to Taos, N.M., with two little boys in 1967. That temporary move ended up being the home where they raised their eight children.

Rod partnered with Wallace Chatwin and together they built Wally-Rod Construction until 1981. They are credited for building the Mini Mall, Speedway, Tastee Freeze, Laundromat, and many homes. Rod thought about the younger generation in his county and built the Roller Rink and Taos Cinema. Rod was well known as a plumber in Taos County and eventually built and later bought Baskin Robbins where his wife was a big support and business owner with him. He retired after 45 years of contributing to his community and turned over his business and franchise to his children.

He and Sandy spent many years enjoying the sun in Arizona during the winter months and traveling around the country to visit and help their adored children and grandchildren. They moved back to his childhood home in Manassa, Colorado in 2004.

In 2007, Rod and Sandy together, spent a year and half on a mission for the Church in Nauvoo, Ill. There he was known as “Elder Fix-it” and word got around that if there was something that he couldn’t fix, then it couldn’t be fixed. They were able to use their talents and skills to serve, while also discovering new talents, like singing and dancing, and playing the penny whistle!

Rod loved hard work. “While he was resting” enjoyed spending time at the Brazos cabin, snowmobiling with his boys, collecting and working on classic cars, and flying a variety of his homemade model airplanes.

He adored his children and grandchildren and was excitedly planning on heading to Arizona this week to enjoy the sun with Sandy. Rod was a true Manassa man who loved his family and his Savior and was a valiant member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Jennings and Oneta Thomas, and brothers-in-law, Gary Shaw and George “Buzz” Wyatt. 

He leaves behind his wife of 57 years, Sandy Thomas; sisters: Carolyn Shaw and Nancy Wyatt; 

children: Clay (Karen), Joe (Cynthia), Carrie (Troy) Hayward, Steven (Maxine) Thomas, Julie (Mike) Wilkins, William (Jhazmin), Jarom (Nicole), Matthew (Brittany); 36 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren, and 1 great-great-grandchild.

He will truly be missed by so many. Until we meet again!

A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023, at the Manassa Stake Center of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Visitations will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023, at the Manassa Stake Center in the Parish Hall and again from 9 to 9:45 a.m. at the church prior to the funeral service on Wednesday.  Burial will follow the services in the Manassa-Romeo Cemetery.

To express condolences, please visit www.rogersfunerals.com. Rogers Family Mortuary in Alamosa is in care of the arrangements.

Advertisement