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Jermaine J.J. Thaw

February 19, 2018


Jack Jermaine Thaw III, aka, JJ, passed away at his home in Newton, Kansas on Wednesday, February 19, 2018 from an unknown illness. He was 45 years old.  JJ was a loving son, a devoted brother, an adored uncle and cousin, and a loyal friend who was liked and loved by many.  He was all about his family and loved them more than anything, yet he had enough love to spread throughout his community and to those who knew him. He had a gift for working with special needs children and children with disabilities, troubled youth and young wrestlers. He had a heart of gold and an infectious grin.

JJ worked for USD 373 as a para educator in the Special Ed department.  JJ was also known to many as Coach JJ as he has been an assistant wrestling coach the past 15 years.  He inspired many young lives through his passion for wrestling.  He believed in them and taught many to believe in themselves. He was the definition of loyalty to his family and to his wrestlers. Although he was blunt, you could count on his word being the truth.

JJ was born on January 3, 1973 to Jack Thaw Jr and JoAnne (Torres) Thaw in Alamosa, Co., the oldest of four children.  He attended St. Mary Catholic School for 9 years and was a 1991 Newton High graduate. JJ attended Labette Community College on a wrestling scholarship and then transferred to Fort Hays State where he was a member of the wrestling team.  He was employed at Youthville (Ember Hope now) for   more than 20 years and has been employed by the Newton school district since November of  2003.

JJ was a successful Newton wrestler.  He was in the state finals 3 of his 4 years winning the championship his senior year.  He continued his love of wrestling in college and became an assistant coach for Newton High School, as well as assisting his dad for one year when Jack Thaw was the interim coach.  JJ was passionate about wrestling and sports.  His friends and co-workers called him a ‘walking encyclopedia’ of sports facts and stats.


As much as JJ loved wrestling and working in the Special Ed department he was most passionate about his family.  His sister described him as her ‘personal body guard growing up and one of her biggest fans in her life’.  He was always so proud of his siblings, his family and all their accomplishments.  JJ was the doting uncle always talking about his nieces and nephews, always eager to collect more pictures and show them off.  He never minded asking his family and friends to take a picture of him with them during gatherings and you could count on him to find a place to display them in his home. He was the unofficial family historian.  It’s not surprising that JJ could tell you when and where each photo was captured.  JJ was a proud uncle and made each of his nieces and nephews feel special and loved.  He always greeted his mother and family with a kiss on the cheek and a hug and did the same to say goodbye.

Preceding JJ in death was his grandfather, Jack Thaw Sr., grandmothers, Mary Duncan and Emma Romero, two maternal uncles and one aunt in the last two years, two paternal uncles and three aunts.  JJ is survived by his father, Jack Thaw Jr, his mother, JoAnne Thaw, brother, Justin Thaw of Newton, Ks, sisters Jahree’ Rager and husband Byron of KY, Jenee’ Baytop of CA, his four nieces Toria Thaw, Aryanna Baytop, Jazmon Baytop, Ava Rager and 2 nephews Malcolm Baytop and Aiden Rager, his grandmothers Odessa Thaw of Goessel Kansas, Maurine Sanford of Fort Collins, Co. and grandparents Alex and Carol Torres of Lafayette, Colorado.  Also his uncle Donald Thaw (Veronica) of Newton, aunt, Jan Sanford of Valley Center and dozens of loving cousins.

He will be greatly missed by his family and throughout the community.  Although JJ was only 45 years old, he made a lasting impact on those in his community and touched the lives of those who knew him and loved him.  What a great legacy to leave behind.


Funeral Mass will be 2:00 p.m., Thursday, March 1, 2018 at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church with The Reverend Juan Garza celebrant.  Recitation of the Rosary will be 6:00 p.m., Wednesday at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church.  The family will receive friends following Rosary in The Guadalupe Hall from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Burial will be in the Greenwood Cemetery Newton, Kansas.

Memorials are suggested to Newton High School Athletics and Gymnastics in care of Petersen Funeral Home.


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42 thoughts on “Jermaine J.J. Thaw

  1. Prayers to the Thaw family.❤
    J.J. you were a great soul and a good friend to many.
    You will be greatly missed. ?

  2. Love you Jermaine. You have always been a blessing since the day you were born. Your love of family and friends and your beautiful smile will always be in our heart.

  3. My sincerest condolences to the Thaw family. I will always remember his easy smile, ready laughter, & his genuine soul. My prayers are with you all.

  4. Dearest Thaw Family,
    Whatsoever soothes your spirit, comforts your soul, and brings you peace is what I wish for you. May the God of mercy shine His grace and mercy upon you and May he give you wonderful memories to guide your way.

  5. Love and prayers to the Thaw family. JJ was a tremendously generous man who touched so many lives. As loss often leaves us with a loss of words, please know that there’s not enough words to describe how wonderful JJ was. May he rest in peace. And may peace find a place in the friends and familys hearts as time continues.

  6. Thoughts and prayers for the whole Thaw family. May God Bless all of your family for being warriors of God’s Army.

  7. Thoughts and prayers to the Thaw Family thank you for being. Good very close friend to me and my mom and you will be missed

  8. Jack and JoAnne, my thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family on the loss of your son. May God be with you during this time of sorrow. God Bless you.

  9. Jack & Joann, I have no words to express my heartfelt sorrow hearing of the loss of JJ. Please know my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. May our Lord wrap his arms around you all. With love and peace.

  10. Thinking of you all and praying for peace and comfort as you go through this difficult time. May the lord bless and keep you.

  11. My.condolences to you I’m sorry for this tragic loss JJ was my friend & I’ve always & always will love & respect y’all God bless

  12. Our thoughts are with JJ’s family. He was such a wonderful influence not only at NHS but at Youthville as well. He will be missed. I will forever hold deep clean Sunday in my heart.

  13. Praying for the family and all the ones his life impacted. He was very special to my brother Earnest Johns and his sons. He is credited for getting my nephew Miles Johns to the state championship. May his soul rest in peace.

  14. Our deepest sympathies and prayers for all the Thaw family. J.J. was a wonderful, kind soul who gave so much to the Newton Community. May God give you strength, courage, and peace during this difficult time. Your family is in our prayers,
    The Paronto Family

  15. Thinking of your family and prayers for you all. JJ was one of the kindest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. Peace and comfort to you all through this very difficult time. May God keep you and bless you all.

  16. Praying for the Thaw Family. JJ you will be missed but NEVER forgotten! Wonderful man, so honored to be a part of this family

  17. Jack, Joanne, Justin & family, words are not enough at a time like this…may God lift you up and help you to feel the love & support of family & friends.

  18. JJ and the Thaw family have been making a differerence in young people’s lives and the community and leading by example for generations now. He deserves a modern day hero’s burial for his dedication to the youth and a better future for all of us. The community lost a great asset and spirit. The lives he helped forge will provide testimony in as yet unimaginable ways, while sadly for us his body rests at the gym of the lord now. My deepest condolences and thank you’s to the Thaw family for trying to help me when I needed it Jack (and Justin, and of course JJ). You touched my life more than you know and I am but one of many thousands you helped and selflessly made your life’s work as educators, coaches, mentors, taking in hard case foster teens, and even social activist when it had to be done. Always striving towards a healthy lifestyle, honesty among equals, education, and personal growth JJ was a secret hero of mine and a humble example to everyone of what the world needs a lot more of. Rest In Peace JJ.

  19. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.

  20. First Jay and now Maine. JJ was known as Maine around uncle Booker’s house as a small boy. A nickname given to him by little brother Justin. A beautiful curly haired little boy who learned to wrestle almost as soon as he learned to walk. I will love & miss you both all the daysof my life!

  21. Jack, Joanne and the entire Thaw family you are in our thoughts and prayers. We are so very sorry for your loss.

  22. He will be so greatly missed. I am grateful that my sons Logan and Grant were coached by him, but sad that my son Nick did not get that opportunity. However all my family got to be around him and his kind spirit. We loved him dearly. He was an amazing person.

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