Navis Michael "Mike" Thomas - father, grandfather and friend - passed away March 2, 2023 at the age of 85. Mike spent his life enjoying quality time with his wife of over 61 years, Riitta, his children Raul, Cristina, Isabel and Sonia, and grandchildren Paul, Daniel, Anna, Claire, Jennika, Tomas, Ramona, Audrey and Elinor. He was predeceased by his dear child and daughter, Mia, in 2009.
Mike grew up in Uruguay alongside his lifelong friends. His egalitarian views on the world were first shaped in that warm culture of music, soccer, riding horses and beach life, and then shared over a lifetime of good conversations. He moved to England as a young adult where he met Riitta and started a family. He followed work opportunities to Germany, South America, Finland and, finally, to Canada, where Mike and Riitta brought their young family and welcomed their fifth child. Mike excelled as a parent by encouraging his kids to read and providing them with plenty of outdoor activities. Personally, he was happiest reading, gardening, and being out with his kid’s finding firewood and picking berries. His secret pleasures were finding special deals while shopping and sharing a meal from his wood-fired barbecue. After retirement, he found more time to relax and make beautiful berry wines, go for long walks, and spend evenings watching movies (chosen from his stacks of DVDs from the library) while settling down with a rum and coke on ice, with a twist of lemon.
Mike will be forever missed by his family and friends in Canada, Ireland, Uruguay, England, Finland, Norway, and Germany. At his request there will be no service. Mike's final place of rest will be in Finland. Wishes and condolences may be left on the Alternatives Funeral and Cremation Services website.
I always think of you two when I turn on to second ave. from Murrey so sorry for your loss good memories though love from us
I still remember the day that I met Mike. Dale brought him home from work and he stayed for dinner. Riitta and the kids were still in Edmonton, moving here shortly after. That was the start of a friendship that has lasted for almost 50 years. The Johnson family, the Thomas family and Waddle’s celebrated many family dinners at each others homes or over a campfire. Over the years Mike introduced us to espresso coffee, the first time or two was a big learning curve for us. Good wine, how to make wine, how to camp using the bare basics, another big learning curve. We learned a lot about Uruguay and about football. We loved sharing holidays, family gatherings, food and a lot of laughs. There was always a lot of laughs. We loved spending time with the Thomas’s . We loved Mike.
We met Mike over 40 years ago. He introduced us to his family and from that time on, the Thomas family and the Waddle family and our family spent a lot of time together, creating wonderful memories. We visited and dined at each other's home, celebrated birthdays, Christmas, even Mardi Gras together. We went camping and canoeing. We watched each other’s children growing up over the years. When the children grew up and moved away from home, we continued to get together with Mike and Riitta. We always looked forward to a visit with Mike and Riitta and although we didn't always agree on politics and other things, we always enjoyed our visits. It was always interesting conversations. Mike introduced us to homemade wine, watercress soup, mate, etc. We miss him, he will not be forgotten. May Mike and his daughter rest in peace. Sending our deepest sympathies to Riitta and all the family. love, Bob, Lorraine and Shelley