Obituary for Matthew Franklin Thomas, Sergeant First Class, United States Army (UPDATED)

Matthew Franklin Thomas, Sergeant First Class, United States Army (UPDATED)

Matthew Franklin Thomas, age 33, passed away on March 10, 2019 after a career of service to his country. He was an extraordinary man and will be greatly missed by everyone who knew him. He was a devoted son to Robert Thomas and Lisa Frauhiger, a loving brother to Lucas Thomas, and a caring grandson to his maternal grandmother, Jeannine Marie (Stamper) Boyer. He is mourned by his wife, Jessica Weiss Thomas, and his 15-month old daughter, Juliet Olivia Thomas.

Matt was a proud Army Ranger. He led his fellow Rangers with enthusiasm and grit, demonstrating courage and fortitude both in training and in combat. He fiercely loved his country, and never flinched from meeting the enemy. He fought in one of the toughest, most fearsome theaters of war in the world, Afghanistan, and returned again and again when he could have come back to the states to enjoy a simpler and safer life. He was first deployed to Afghanistan in 2007. He became a full-fledged Ranger in 2011. He was deployed to Afghanistan six times total.

Another thing he did with all his might was share the love he had inside him, and have fun. He loved his daughter, Juliet, and lit up when he was in her presence. He always made her smile. And those who saw Matt take the stage on a Karaoke night will never forget it. He threw himself into every performance with a ferocious commitment that dared anyone in the room not to laugh, cheer and applaud.

“Fight with all my might” is part of the Ranger Creed. This could have been written with Matt in mind. He did everything with all his might. He loved sports. He grew up fishing with his maternal grandfather, Richard “Dick” Boyer. He was a passionate football fan, rooting for the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame and his beloved Indianapolis Colts. Football is a game where warriors put their skills on the line backed by their training and bolstered by their determination and their commitment to “team over self.” He saw himself in that game, because he participated in a life-and-death endeavor as a Ranger that required all this and things still greater to serve his fellow Rangers and his country. He was never one to just sit on the sidelines.

Matt was an Army Ranger. As such, he lived by the Ranger Creed. One part of this creed is, “Energetically will I meet the enemies of my country. I shall defeat them on the field of battle for I am better trained and will fight with all my might. Surrender is not a Ranger word. I will never leave a fallen comrade to fall into the hands of the enemy and under no circumstances will I ever embarrass my country.”

Matthew Franklin Thomas was born June 16, 1985 in Columbia City, Indiana to Lisa Marie (Boyer) Frauhiger and Robert Franklin Thomas. He married Jessica Weiss Thomas on Tybee Island, Georgia, in 2015. He is survived by his parents, wife, daughter, maternal grandmother, and brother, Lucas Boyer Thomas. He was also survived by stepfather Ryan Neal Frauhiger and Step Grandparents Rudy Glen Frauhiger and Connie Sue (Brindle) Frauhiger. He was loved by many cousins, aunts and uncles. He was preceded in death by his maternal grandfather Richard (Dick) Eugene Boyer, his paternal grandfather Robert (Bobby) Franklin Thomas and paternal grandmother, Sandra (Sandy) Ann Redinger Thomas.

Funeral services will be held April 9, 2019 at 11am at McHatton-Sadler Funeral Chapel, Warsaw followed by burial at Oakwood Cemetery in Warsaw, Indiana will full Military Honors rendered by the United States Army. A viewing will take place April 8, 2019 at McHatton-Sadler from 4pm-8pm. A Celebration of Life service will be held in Savannah, Georgia April 13th, Matt’s home base for most of his Army career.


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