William J. “Bill” Thoman

Graveside Military Services for William J. “Bill” Thoman, 76, Lawrence will be held at 3 p.m. on Friday, February 26, 2021 at Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Lawrence, KS. He died at his home on February 20, 2021.

Bill was born May 18, 1944 in Russell, Kansas the son of Floyd Wilson Thoman and Josephine (Avis) Thoman.

Bill served his country in the United States Army, including during Vietnam, as a military police dog handler and a veterinarian technician. After his time in the Army, he worked in various positions in Law Enforcement, including as the Chief of Police in Peabody, KS. In his 10 years prior to retirement, he was known as “Breathalyzer Bill” to the young people he worked with at Douglas County Youth Services.

Bill was a gun enthusiast, took pride in firearm maintenance and was an expert marksman. He was a member of Quail Unlimited. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, Louis L’Amour novels, gas station coffee, and scratch off lottery tickets. Although he feigned indifference initially, there never was a bird, dog, cat, or rabbit that didn’t love Bill immediately, and the affection was always returned.

He married Dr. Kay L. Crider on September 9, 1983 in Ponca City, Oklahoma. She survives of the home. Other survivors include his two stepdaughters and seven step-grandchildren and his portly cat, Kitty Raptor, whom he lovingly overfed.

Memorial contributions may be made in his name to Lawrence Humane Society and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, KS 66044.

4 Condolences

  1. Carl "Bill" Ossmann on February 23, 2021 at 11:03 am

    I had the pleasure of working with Bill in the Shawnee County District Attorneys office. He was a great investigator for the office. I recall his stories about caring for President Johnson’s beagles and his penchant for putting ketchup on fried rice. Ever since then I’ve done the same to the chagrin of others dining with me.

    I’ve thought of Bill often after we parted ways, and am sad to learn of his passing. I’ll hold good thoughts for the family as they honor and remember him.

  2. Randy Hendershot on February 23, 2021 at 4:07 pm

    As another one of the retired Asst. DAs who worked with Bill, I remember him as tireless and fearless, going in to the worst neighborhoods in Topeka to drag in some uncooperative victim or witness so our case would not collapse. He was a whipcord dynamo who was an asset to all who depended on him

  3. Nancy Nowlin on February 24, 2021 at 2:20 pm

    I am so sorry to learn of the death of your husband. I never had the pleasure of knowing him but he sounds like he was a wonderful person.
    Nancy Nowlin

  4. Linda Arnett on March 13, 2021 at 10:03 am

    Our sympathy to you, Dr. Kay. I remember when you were both in Peabody, an d such great additions to the community. Perhaps you two even met there. I believe your younger daughter came to my little preschool. May you receive comfort from beautiful memories. Linda Arnett

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