David Ray Thayer
David Ray Thayer

Oh the adventures he has had! Though his earthly adventures may have ended as a result of David Ray Thayer's passing on May 3, 2018, his memory will go on for a very long time.

Born Jan. 4, 1925, one of six children of Leonard and Sarah Thayer, Dave lived a life full of laughs, tears and opportunities with his wife of 63 years, Harriet Schornick Thayer, who passed in 2011. The father of six children, Dave embarked on a variety of career choices such as a farmer, a long-time math teacher in Shelby County, a businessman, owning Dave's Drive-Inn in Hope and Edinburgh, The Covered Wagon Market in Shelbyville, the Central Indiana School of Real Estate and Clifty Creek Golf Course. Dave had numerous businesses with his children along the way, ultimately establishing a family corporation that bought, improved and sold farms, houses, and mobile home parks.

Dave was also a State Representative for this area from 1956 - 58 being touted as being neither a Democrat nor a Republican but having a party all his own. Dave fought for the 'little guy' and helped to right wrongs imposed by government interventions- usually on the 'Most Feared' list of the planning and zoning committees in Bartholomew County for several decades.

Dave was very active in the real estate business, buying and selling properties first for Kelly Realty in Shelbyville and then establishing his own real estate business, serving Bartholomew, Jennings, Shelby and Rush Counties. Always one who thought 'outside-the-box', Dave once sold a small parcel of land in exchange for a large quantity of rugs! He would still swear that was a good deal.

Retiring from teaching, Dave decided that the world was truly ready for change so he enrolled in law school, attending with daughter Joyce, solving many of the world's problems on their commutes to Louisville law school. Though Dave did not complete his law studies, his real-life education continued and he spent his retirement years buying and selling property in Florida and enjoying the weather that Florida had to offer.

While Dave struggled to accept the premature passing of his eldest son, David Lynn in 2006, five of his children survive- Joyce Thayer-Sword, Rob and Vickie Thayer, Chris Thayer, O.J. Thayer and Judy Ridpath-Holder, fiancee, and Melissa and Peter Snyder. Dave's twelve grandchildren enjoyed his storytelling abilities as they grew up and can play nearly any pick-up card game to which they are invited as a result of his teaching. His cardshark grandchildren are David Jr. (Trooper) and Shauna Thayer, Derek Thayer, Stephanie Thayer, Daron (Bugs) and Jennifer Thayer, Tzipporah Melissa Morris, Ashley and Chris Holzhausen, Jordan and Rachel Thayer, Jessica and Andy Feldkamp, Lincoln Thayer, Amanda Thayer, Joseph Snyder and Lauren Snyder. Great grandchildren are Lachelle Munn, Angus Conley and Elle Holzhausen.

Always thought of as an analytical businessman, there was another side to Dave -- that of storyteller. Dave wrote stories, essays, fables and even some poetry. Family was at the core of Dave's thoughts- trying to guide, encourage, advise and yes, sometimes control his children! But his intent was sincere- to teach them to work hard, value the family from which they came and to be independent. Oh the adventures we've had- thanks to D.R.

All final arrangements were handled by Norman Funeral Home of Hope, IN. Notice of a memorial service will be given at a later time.

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