DEARBORN – Former City Councilman and Dearborn native Doug Thomas died Feb. 6 in Florida, where he was a resident of Bonita Springs. He was 82.
Thomas served on council for a total of 21 years. He was first elected in 1981, holding his seat until 1985 when he made an unsuccessful run for mayor of Dearborn. He was re-elected to council in 1989, serving for five terms between 1990 and 2009.
A lifelong Dearborn resident before retiring to Florida in 2009, Thomas was a 1950 graduate of Dearborn High School. In 1954, he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Bowling Green State University.
Thomas also served in the U.S. Army from 1955 to 1957, attaining the rank of first lieutenant.
During his time on council, Thomas garnered a reputation as the “Watchdog of Dearborn.” According to his family, his desire was to be remembered as “a servant of the people who fought hard against government corruption.”
“I always appreciated Doug’s service on the City Council and his commitment to what he believed was best for Dearborn,” Mayor John O’Reilly Jr. said. “As councilman, he fully engaged in support of his position and thereby made democracy work in Dearborn. He also possessed great sense of humor and a knack for keeping you on your toes. We all owe him a debt of gratitude for his service.”
In addition to his years of service on City Council, Thomas was an active member of the Dearborn community. He owned Fairlane Travel for 29 years and served as president and lieutenant governor of the Dearborn Kiwanis Club.
Thomas also served as chairman of the Fairlane YMCA Board of Directors, as well as two terms as president of the Dearborn Inter-Service Club Council and two terms as president of the Dearborn Hills Civic Association.
Thomas is survived by his wife of 15 years, Jane (Nelson). He is also survived by daughters Pam Thomas and Debbie Kraus, stepson Jeff Valentine, grandchildren Eric and Heather, and two great grandchildren.