Kermit S. Thomas


Kermit S. Thomas , longtime Superior resident and owner of Quickprint, died on October 23, 2021, at the age of 94. Son of Clyde and Clara Thomas, he was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Ruby (Ostrom) Thomas, and sister Marlene Esselstrom. He is survived by his sister Marlis Anderson; his four sons: Kyle (Julie), Dale (Amy Cusick), Donald (Rebecca), and Gary; seven grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

After graduating from Superior Central High School in 1944, Kermit enlisted in the Army Air Corps and served in Italy during World War II. He returned home and began working full-time in his father’s printing business while going to college. He graduated from Superior State College with a bachelor’s degree in economics.

Kermit met Ruby Ostrom at a Duluth skating rink. They were married in 1958 and settled into a home in Superior’s East End. Together they successfully raised their family of four boys.

Purchased by his father in 1940, Quickprint grew in the early decades and Kermit built a new building on Tower Avenue in 1968. He worked there full-time until he closed the business in 2012. Over the years, the entire family had some role at “the shop”, with Ruby doing the books, the boys doing occasional jobs, and his son Donald learning the trade and becoming a third-generation printer. Every Friday morning at the shop there was a gathering in the back with friends and former employees dropping by to enjoy coffee, donuts, and conversation.

Flying was a passion of Kermit’s from an early age. He shared ownership of planes with other pilots, flew around the country, and would visit the local airport to take the boys flying.

He was an active member of Zion Lutheran Church, serving on the council and various committees over many years. Music was always a part of his life, from Ruby playing the piano and other instruments at home and in church, to attendance at ragtime piano and other performances. After Ruby passed in 2014, Kermit moved to Michigan where he lived with Donald and his family. While in the Traverse City area, Kermit became known for his appreciation of music, easygoing nature, and quick wit. He was also recognized in parades for his WWII service and flew on an Honor Flight.

He is remembered fondly by those he leaves behind as a brother, father, uncle, grandfather, great-grandfather and loyal friend to many. He provided for his family, treated his customers with respect, and enjoyed a full life.

There will be a remembrance gathering in Michigan later this year. A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, May 14, 2022 at the Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center in Superior, details to be provided at a later date. Memorial donations may be made to Zion Lutheran Church or the Bong Center.