February 4, 1953 - January 10, 2022
Donald “Flipper” Thayer, age 68 of Sabula, Iowa passed away Monday, January 10, 2022 at MercyOne Hospital in Clinton. A Celebration of Life service will be held 2:00 p.m. Saturday, January 15, 2022 at Law Jones Funeral Home in Savanna with a visitation held for family and friends from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., prior to the service. Friends and family are encouraged to share in his life at lawjonesfuneralhome.com. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Don’s name. If you wish to attend the Facebook live click this link https://www.facebook.com/groups/4938914389487278 Don was born February 4, 1953 in Savanna, the son of Jack and Evelyn (Hamilton) Thayer, growing up camping and hunting along the Mississippi River. He is a 1972 Sabula High School graduate where he met the love of his life, Debra Mangler. They were wed on April 2, 1977, and raised two daughters, Angie and Audrey, and they have celebrated 44 years of marriage. When the grandchildren came along, life really got fun, traveling and taking the kids on the river teaching them all to drive his pontoon. Don also coached their T-ball and baseball teams for several years up to seventh grade. (Even taking them to 2 undefeated seasons.) Don worked 43 years for the BNSF railroad, starting out as a switchman for Burlington Northern Santa Fe. It was here that he received his nickname “Flipper” because he lived on an Island in the Mississippi. During his railroad career he, Deb and the girls also lived in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, then Lincoln, Nebraska where he worked as Trainmaster, then Spokane, Washington as Manager of Operations; and finally back to Sabula as a Switch Engineer out of the Clinton yard. They enjoyed each move with their family, he especially liked the mountains out west and showing his girls the country. In 2010, after Don’s retirement he followed his lifelong dream of opening a railroader’s sports bar in Sabula “Flippers”. Don was a Die-Hard Hawkeyes, Cubs and Packers fan and his bar showed it. That fun life experience was enjoyed by so many friends and family. Don loved blaring the jukebox while playing his air guitar / piano and often would sing every song he played word for word. Flip was known for his famous homemade hot pretzels. That adventure lasted his family 7 years and left behind so many wonderful memories and many more lifelong friendships. As described by his family, Don was loveable and genuine. He never tired of a good card game and the family always loved his cooking. If you were hanging-out with Don, you’d be listening to country and 70s rock, and quite often, got to hear him sing. In 1972, he bought a new maroon corvette, accomplishing one of his dreams as a young man. Later, there was a story about him driving a brand new truck across the Mississippi ice to Illinois in order to save the toll. Don was an active member of River Church in Clinton, Iowa, a retired Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen member, a former Ducks Unlimited member, past Sabula Jaycees, Sabula Fire Department, Sabula Councilman and Mayor and part of the Back Alley Boat Club. The river was a place where he could get-away and relax and he enjoyed being with family and friends in the outdoors. He always appreciated the companionship of his granddogs Ali and Bea. Don will be dearly missed by his wife, Deb of Sabula; two daughters, Angie Graves and Audrey Thayer; four grandchildren, Kadin, Kyson, Carter and Maeley Graves; and a great-grandson on the way. He is preceded in death by both parents, many aunts and uncles, and his brother, Steve “Gator” on December 27, 2021.
Donald “Flipper” Thayer, age 68 of Sabula, Iowa passed away Monday, January 10, 2022 at MercyOne Hospital in Clinton. A Celebration of Life service will be held 2:00 p.m. Saturday, January 15, 2022 at Law Jones Funeral Home in Savanna... View Obituary & Service Information
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Donald “Flipper” Thayer, age 68 of Sabula, Iowa passed away Monday,...View More
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