In Memory

James Robert Thomas - Class Of 1967

James Robert Thomas


James R. Thomas, 68, of Fort Wayne, Indiana passed away at 12:45 a.m. Tuesday, November 15, 2016 in his home. He was born on October 3, 1948 in South Bend, Indiana to Ralph J. and Margaret J. (Latosinski) Thomas. James had lived in Fort Wayne for the past 16 years. He was the owner of American Espresso Catering of Fort Wayne where he was known and loved as the "Coffee Man". He also lived in Van Wert, OH for many years working in sales at Gordon Food Service. Prior to that, he lived in Spring, Texas and was a regional sales manager for Morrows Nut House. He was the owner of Joe Mamma's Pizza in South Bend, Indiana from 1986-1989 and worked in his family's business, The Pendle Pub from 1975-1978. James served in the Navy from 1967-1973 as a dental tech. James is survived by his sister, Joann (Brian) Rearick of South Bend, Indiana; two brothers, John (Sheri) Thomas of Mishawaka, Indiana and Bob (Colleen) Thomas of Niles, MI. Also surviving are his nieces and nephews, Caira (Mikey) Brinker of Mishawaka, Cary (Malina) Schiff of Seattle, Washington, Bryan (Sarah) Schiff of Mishawaka, Shelley (Eric) Krall of Mishawaka, Bobby Thomas of South Bend and Stacy Thomas of South Bend and Jayden Thomas and Taylor Derscha of Niles. He is also survived by 14 great-nieces and nephews and his beloved lab Lola. He had special neighbors, Richard and Sue Oncheck, Richard was an amazing blessing during his late stages of cancer. James had a big heart for people and was a prayer warrior and Christ Follower. He was preceded in death by his parents, Ralph Thomas in 1982 and Margaret Thomas in 2008. Funeral Services will take place at 12:00 Noon, Monday, November 21, 2016 in the Kaniewski Funeral Home, 3545 N. Bendix Drive. A visitation will be held from 10:00 a.m. until Noon Monday in the funeral home. Entombment will follow in St. Joseph Cemetery, where members of the United State Navy will conduct Military Services. James was a 1967 graduate of LaSalle High School. He attended Rhema Bible Training College in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. He was an avid reader, bible student and enjoyed reading and writing Christian stories. Jim was a member of the Blackhawk Ministries Church and the Double Exposure Sunday school class. A special thank you to this wonderful group who helped care for James and to Dr. Gize and the staff at Fort Wayne Oncology. He also sponsors a Missionary in China and was a sponsor of a young man in Ethiopia that he continued to correspond with after the boy became an adult. Memorial contributions may be directed to Southern Care Hospice, 7557 W. Jefferson Blvd., Fort Wayne, Indiana or the Humane Society. To send online condolences please visit

08/29/2019 JFC