Dale A. Thomas Sr., 74, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on April 4, 2013, after a long battle with cardiac and pulmonary illness. He was born in China, Me., Feb. 5, 1939, the son of William and Ester (Bragdon) Thomas and the 13th child of a family of 17.

Dale grew up at the family farm on Knox Ridge. He settled in Brooks in 1959 with his wife, Beatrice (Moody) Thomas, and they started their family. Dale worked for Delmont Clark for 25 years before starting his own business, Dale A. Thomas and Sons Inc., in 1982. The business manufactured agricultural equipment, and later he owned Thomas Band Saw Mill. Through the years, Dale was very active in the community. He was a founding member of the Brooks Ambulance Service, a member and past president of the Brooks Booster Club, a member of the Brooks Fire Department, Harvest Home Grange, Marsh River Lodge, and the Brooks Planning Board, as well as a Boy Scout leader.

Dale enjoyed spending time with his family camping, hunting, fishing and traveling, as well as spending time at his deer camp in Troy. Having an array of interests, he was accomplished in engineering, design, art, restoration of antique tractors and, some would say, a philosopher. He took great pride in providing his grandchildren with life lessons and stressing the importance of a common-sense approach to life. Dale enjoyed the Fourth of July parades in Brooks, building many artistic floats, including Thomas the Tank Engine, airplane, spider, full-sized stage coach and buckboard. He has instilled his ideals, passions and love within his family.

Dale will be deeply missed by his wife of 52 years, Beatrice (Moody) Thomas; son Dale Jr., wife Patsy and grandson Dale III; son Kendall and granddaughter Melissa Potter; son James, wife Cathy and granddaughter Alexandria; and son Jonathan, granddaughter Austyn and grandson Jonathan II. He is also survived by brothers Claude Thomas and wife Marion, and Bernard Thomas; his brother-in-law, George Moody, and his wife, Leola. He also has many special nieces and nephews. Special friends include Frank and Joanne Finley, and Neal and Jeanette Gay and their families.

He was predeceased by sisters Elnora Shaw, Millie Livermore, Shirley Thomas, Arlene Thomas; and brothers Richard, Arthur, Grant, Neil, Gary, Robert, Carl, Bill and Lowell Thomas.

A celebration of life service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 13, at the Brooks Pentecostal Church, 178 Monroe Hwy., with a gathering at the church afterward. Private committal will take place at a later date in the spring. Friends who wish may contribute to the Brooks Ambulance Service, 55 Reynolds Rd., Brooks, ME 04921.

Arrangements are with Riposta Funeral Home, Belfast. To offer condolences to the Thomas family, visit www.ripostafh.com.