After a valiant fight with Father Time, David Thomas finally called it quits on March 23, 2019, as the old clock triumphed once again. Born Oct. 6, 1921, at his family home in Portland, Maine, he was the sixth child of seven of Elias Thomas Jr. and Dorothea Brayton Perkins.

Raised with privilege in a very well to do family, Dave never let the perquisites of this lifestyle turn his head.

His youth was spent in Portland and Fryeburg, Maine, where the family had a farm in the summers. Dave loved animals and spent much of his time with horses. Following the attainment of a degree in animal husbandry at the University of Maine, and after his completion of service in the U.S. Marine Corps in WWII, Dave headed west and never looked back.

He worked in construction and ranching in Thermopolis and Jackson and along the way accumulated a wife and two children. Dave was hired on by the Wyoming Game & Fish Commission as a game warden. Most of Dave’s career was spent in Big Piney. He was known (and to some, feared) far and wide for his attention to the laws of the State of Wyoming with regards to licensing for fishing and wildlife hunting. He once caught his wife Betty fishing. Fortunately, she had a license because he did check. He was on the job seven days a week and loved the game animals in Sublette and Teton counties; as well as wherever he was in Wyoming! Following his stint in Big Piney, he was transferred to Jackson and reluctantly retired in 1978.

He and Betty built a log home in Bondurant, where they moved in 1979 and stayed until 2004. Between ’79 and ’04, Dave worked for the Forest Service in Jackson and when the winters proved to be too severe, they headed south where he worked on a guest ranch (Los Caballeros) in Wickenburg, Arizona. He worked as a wrangler and builder until he retired for the third time and moved to Buffalo.

Dave was preceded in death by both parents; and six siblings, Beatrice Cobb, Elias, Rosamond Smith, Ann Willson, Dorothea Christy, and Julia Young. He is survived by his wife, famed wildlife artist B. R. Thomas; his son, a famed bronze sculptor, D. Michael Thomas (Peggy) of Buffalo; and daughter, Sandra Neal (Ronald) of Great Falls, Montana, a famous mother of four beautiful daughters. He is also survived by six grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren, all of whom live in Montana or Wyoming and never want to leave the west either!

Dave lived a life of integrity, constancy and hard work; he never missed the East Coast, but loved his chosen state of Wyoming along with her harsh landscape, changing weather and varied wildlife.

Services will be held at a later date.

He made his mark

He left his genes

In women of beauty

And men of means.

And the Old West bounty

Met his Wyoming dreams.

As he fed the elk,

Watched over the moose

The pheasant, the fish~

He eventually won

Conservancy’s battle~

When there were those

So-claiming the game

Belonged to them -

Their very own chattel.

The bear, the deer,

The big horned sheep…

The antelope, the grouse…

Were all in his keep!

The fish and wildlife

Became ours to share

Because of his constant,

Vigilant care.

There may be some who think the less

Of those who go to the wall for others out west.

But in the end we all should bless

Those who put earth’s creatures first.

Men of heart become a part of the legends of the West.

And through it all,

In deeds large and small,

David was among the best

Online condolences may be written

Kane Funeral Home has been entrusted with local arrangements.