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Brent Lee Thomas

October 25, 2020

Brent Lee Thomas, 52, of Newton, Kansas crossed his final finish line on Sunday, October 25, 2020. He died at home, surrounded by those he loved after a five month battle with cancer. Brent was born on August 31, 1968 in Newton, Kansas to Jerry Max and Kay (O’Brien) Thomas. He attended Newton High School and graduated with honors in 1986. He then attended Northwest Kansas Area Vocational Technical School in Goodland, Kansas where he studied auto body repair. He started a long career in aircraft manufacturing at Beech Aircraft in 1989.  December, 2006, he headed north to Fairbanks, Alaska to work for Alkan Shelters. He was there for 4 years returning to the lower 48 in 2010 and resumed working for Beech. He was proud of his work as a Manufacturing Engineer and continued to work at Beech (Textron) until shortly before his death.


As a child he was outgoing and inquisitive. He loved all things racing and started out racing BMX bikes at age 13. He moved on to go-carts before graduating to dirt track racing, which he enjoyed doing with his dad, Jerry. They bonded over race cars and dirt tracks, and Brent soon found his passion for fixing anything with wheels. If he didn’t know how to fix something, he’d figure it out and then teach the next guy how to do it, too. He never met a project he couldn’t finish. He had a need for speed and loved to hit the open road on his Harley with Cathy, on the back.


Brent and Cathy travelled many miles, moving from Park City, Kansas to Fairbanks, Alaska in 2006. From fishing, to hunting, to rafting, they had countless adventures exploring the state he loved so much. Brent would have stayed in Alaska forever, but he moved home with Cathy in 2010 to be closer to their family (and to keep his wife).


Brent loved being the crew chief for #65, Tyler Davis Racing. He spent most of his weekends over the last ten years at the track, an experience he also loved sharing with his grandkids. He travelled all over the U.S. as a vital member of the pit crew and will be impossible to replace. He believed in Tyler and wanted so much to keep racing until the end.


Family meant everything to Brent. He was always there for anyone who needed him. He was proud of his children and grandchildren and would tell anyone about them that would listen. He shared three children with his first wife, Kandace Silvernale; a son, Justin Kater, and two daughters; Maegan (Ray) Miles and Michelle (Derek) Embry, all of Newton. On September 5, 2006, he married Cathy Kerr in Las Vegas, Nevada. Together they shared two daughters, Kari (Cody) Cordell and Lauren (Oscar) Juarez, all of Tulsa, Oklahoma. He loved all of his eleven grandkids; Cameron, Timothy, Guthry, Claire, Amya, Nora, Afton, Porter, Elliotte, Maliah, and Arlis. He was anxiously awaiting the arrival of the two newest grandkids, Max and Penny. His grandkids brought him so much joy and softened his tough guy exterior whenever they were around. They loved and respected their Papa Brent and learned so many valuable lessons from him.


Brent is survived by Cathy, five children, stepmother Zella Thomas, two sisters, Tina Fowler and Teresa Driver, two brothers, Brad Thomas and Jerry (Gina) Gaede, and so many more who loved him.  He is also survived by his beloved  bulldog, Fletcher.


He was preceded in death by his Father, Jerry Thomas and Mother, Kay Thomas.


A service of Celebration and Remembrance of Brent’s life will be held on Saturday, October 31, at 10:00 a.m. at Grace Community Church in Newton, Kansas.  It will also be livestreamed on ‘You Tube’ or the ‘Facebook’ page for Grace Community Church Newton Kansas.  Click on link on those sites.

Memorial contributions may be made to Caring Hands, in care of Petersen Funeral Home.

Arrangements are by Petersen Funeral Home, Newton, Kansas.






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32 thoughts on “Brent Lee Thomas

  1. Rest in peace my dear friend Brent, you were taken oh too soon…
    You left memories with each of us to embrace and forever remember… God took one of his very best…
    Condolences to your love Cathy and your beautiful family..

  2. Dave and I are so sorry for your loss. We remember Brent as the well behaved young man who rode his bike to our house many times as a shy 12 year old. He was always kind and respecful of others. Brent you will be missed by many. Our prayers are with you all. Dave and Ann Schmidt

  3. Dave and I are so sorry for your loss. We remember Brent as the well behaved young man who rode his bike to our house many times as a shy 12 year old. He was always kind and respecful of others. Brent you will be missed by many. Our prayers are with you all. Dave and Ann Schmidt

  4. So sorry of your loss,
    He was there for my sister, Carol,
    She loved him and thought so much of you all.
    I know he will be missed.
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
    Barbara & David Hays

  5. Brent you will be forever missed. Thank you for your friendship. Love and prayers for Cathy and kids.

  6. You’ll definitely be missed taken to soon in this crazy world we live in looking from above ,Rip my brother.

  7. He was such a great guy and I was honored to be part of his life. Will miss him for our annual Xmas gathering.

  8. My thoughts and prayers are with you Cathy and the family as you come together to celebrate Brent’s life. Sending you all the comfort and strength vibes for the coming days and weeks ahead.

  9. I met Brent one time at Cathy’s high school reunion. What a great guy. You could just see and feel the love between Brent and Cathy. RIDE FREE MY FRIEND. Albert J. Short.

  10. Brent will be sorely missed by his family and friends. Will always remember his stop over in Houston. I know him and Uncle Jerry are working on the big guys car putting alittle more juice in it.

  11. Cathy, it is with a heavy heart I share my condolences, learning of the passing of your beloved Brent.

    Please know everyone here at High Touch is thinking of you and praying for you and your family.

  12. May our heavenly Father comfort all friends, family, and loved ones and bless them during this difficult time.

    Gregg Stukey
    Newton High School
    Class of 1986

  13. Brent was a great man I remember him from the track working on Tyler’s car he was great to be around he will be missed thoughts and prayers for everyone

  14. Cathy, I am so very sorry for your loss. Though we grew up across the street from one another, I didn’t get the honor to meet Brent 5 or 6 years ago. I always enjoyed being with him and with you two together. I know he absolutely adored you and always spoke well if you. He was very kind and thoughtful. I didn’t get a lot of time with him but I highly respected Brent and really felt God made Him just for you.

    Love you,

    Ron & Diane Isam

  15. My sincere condolences to you Cathy. Brent was way too young to be taken from you. A tough new era of your life begins. I’m sure your family and friends will help you through. Don’t be afraid to ask for the help you need.

  16. There aren’t words & no matter how much I knew I just wasn’t ready. I’ll never be able to thank you for being my rock through therapy & reminding me that I’m a strong independent woman and mother & my kids deserved their best mom. You didn’t make me feel less for admitting I needed help mentally & you checked on me every single day. You went out of your way to do for others when you were fighting battles of your own. I miss you shit stain but I know I’ll see you again. Tequila shots will commence this weekend. Until we meet again- I love you pops!

  17. I had the privilege of meeting Brent when he would come into our offices at Millennium Concepts. He was always smiling and had a friendly hello for me. I will miss his visits. Prayers of peace to his family.
    Corlyn Cain

  18. Cathy, It was so obviously real the love you two had for each other. I loved the fact that he just bellied up to the counter and joined right in. He was your guy and you could see that in his eyes. I will be praying for you and your family.

  19. We have only known Brent and Cathy just under a year. In that short time we were privileged to be a witness to the wonderful qualities that everyone has shared. Our sincere sympathy for your loss.

  20. Cathy, I am SO sorry for your loss. May The Great Spirit take special care of all of you during your time of sorrow. I am so glad I had the opportunity to have Brent as a friend. He loved watching our girls play BB!! He had a great sense of humor and loved everyone. We planned on going, but John is an ASST. Principal and BB is right around the corner. Prayers, Peace, Love for our brother and hugs for Cathy. Still can’t believe it.❤

  21. Brent we had a lot of fun on harvest together and you were like a great younger brother to me for a number of years.

    Back then you loved turning a wrench.your the only one who has helped me pull a semi transmission on the side of the road and put a new clutch in Dalhart Texas .Iwill say prayers for your family and see you on the other side friend

  22. How can you just be gone? So many memories… 17 to today is a ton of memories that I’ll never forget !! We said our goodbye but it hurts like hell!! Miss you, iml

  23. This is to the family I am so sorry for your loss. Brent was one of the good ones. I never heard him complain about having to do something for someone he was always there whenever someone needed him I love Brent and he will be missed but most of all by Cathy. Please let me know if I can do anything for you

  24. I was very sad to hear the news of Brent’s passing. He was a great teammate and always had a good attitude (read funny joke / rant) while solving challenging problems. I am sorry for his close friends and family.

  25. Cathy & Family,
    I am so sorry to hear of your loss. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
    Eternal rest grant onto Brent, O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

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