William ‘Keith’ Thomas
William “Keith” Thomas, age 91, of Tomahawk, passed away on Tuesday, April 5, 2022. Keith passed peacefully at Milestone Senior Living in Tomahawk with his family at his side.
Keith was born in Platteville, Wis., on July 30, 1930, the only child of John and Wilda (Enloe) Thomas. He married Janyce Miles in October of 1954; she passed away March of 2000.
Keith moved to Madison, Wis., after high school to pursue a career in the automotive industry. Keith then joined Dairy Equipment Company in Madison to fabricate fiberglass and stainless-steel tanker trucks used in the transportation of milk from farms in the Midwest.
Keith’s real passion was racing midgets for the Badger Midget Racing Association (BMRA), where he was a three-time champion of that racing association. His racing career lasted for 22 years until his retirement in 1972. Keith was a driver, car builder, and car owner.
In 1973, Keith moved his family to Tomahawk and, as co-founder, helped build from the ground up, Northland Stainless, Inc. The business fabricated stainless steel vessels and process equipment for the beverage, pharmaceutical, and paper mill industries. The business was sold when Keith retired and continues to operate today, employing many Tomahawk residents.
Keith was an avid pilot and enjoyed flying his bonanza airplane throughout Wisconsin. His family enjoyed swimming, fishing, and boating while living on Deer Lake in the Town of Bradley. In the winter, the family could be found snowmobiling in the Tomahawk area.
Survivors include his children, Brad (Sherri), of Monticello, Minn., and Darin (Linda), of Greensboro, N.C. Keith is further survived by five grandchildren, Kylee Ray, Jennifer Johnson, Grant Thomas, Anna Runyan, and Abby Thomas; in addition to five great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Jan Thomas, and parents, John and Wilda Thomas.
A celebration of life gathering for Keith will be held on Saturday, July 30, 2022, at the Prairie Rapids Tavern from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. Generations Funeral Home & Crematory, Tomahawk, is assisting the family. View Keith’s obituary and leave online condolences at www.generationsfuneral.com.