We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Coles Tribute Center
Mitch Thomas, 47, of Baker City, passed away Friday, April 17, 2022, at his home in Baker City. A celebration to honor his life will be held on Friday, July 22, at 6 pm at the Junior Show/Pioneer Posse Grounds in Milton-Freewater, Oregon.
Mitch was born in Walla Walla WA, to Monte and Dawn (Kayser) Thomas. He was raised on the family ranch in Milton-Freewater, with his older brother, Terrill. He attended school in Milton-Freewater and graduated from Mclaughlin Union High School in 1994. Following high school, he attended Walla Walla Community College and then Washington State University. After earning his undergraduate degree in Animal Science, he went to work for the Forest Service in Prairie City, Oregon, and Fallon, Nevada. In 2002, he earned his master's degree in Rangeland Science from the University of Idaho.
Due to the efforts of his brother, Terrill, and sister-in-law Heidi, he met his future wife, Katy Coddington, at Pendleton Round-up in 1999. Katy and Mitch hit it off right away and were married in March of 2003. Their daughter, Neah Lane Thomas, arrived in September of 2004. During this time Mitch worked for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) as a Range Management Specialist, in Vale Oregon. Between 2008 and 2009 the family moved to the Baker Field Office, in Baker City, which allowed them to be closer to family and the ranch. Their son, Payson Reed Thomas, was born February 2012.
Mitch loved his family more than anything and he loved to help his dad and brother on the ranch. When he wasn’t working for the BLM, he was working for them. He also loved to travel and explore the world. His curiosity for seeing new places and meeting new people was insatiable. Neah and Payson were named for places he enjoyed along the way.
Mitch was involved in many organizations over the years including 4-H, FFA, Cayuse Junior Rodeo Association, NHSRA, PRCA, Boy Scouts of America, the Cattlemen’s Association, and the Society for Rangeland Management. He gave his time to these organizations when he could. In his younger days, he enjoyed competing in rodeos as a calf roper, team roper, and steer wrestler. As the family grew his focus turned more towards ranching, seasonal firefighting, and building a beautiful life for his family.
We will greatly miss his silly sense of humor, quiet persistence, curiosity for life, his down-to-earth and genuine nature, and how he loved the people around him. Survivors include his wife, Katy; daughter, Neah; son, Payson of Baker City, his mother, Dawn Thomas, sister-in-law, Heidi Jones-Thomas, and niece, Macy Thomas of Milton-Freewater, Oregon, and numerous relatives and friends in the northwest. He is preceded in death by his father, Monte Thomas, and brother, Terrill Thomas, of Milton-Freewater.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to either the Milton-Freewater Junior Show, PO Box 379, Milton-Freewater, Oregon 97862, or to the Brenden-Colson Center for Pancreatic Care, OHSU Foundation, P.O. Box 29017, Portland, OR 97296.