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Joel Thomas, retired SPCA wildlife administrator Dec. 10, 1957 -- April 23, 2012

Joel Thomas, of Appleton, retired wildlife administrator for the SPCA Serving Erie County, died Monday in Hospice Buffalo, Cheektowaga. He was 54.

Born in Buffalo, he earned a bachelor's degree in veterinary technology from Medaille College. He was the wildlife administrator for the SPCA for 16 years before he retired Jan. 31.

Mr. Thomas was a member of Hess Road Wesleyan Church, where he also served on its board of trustees. He also was a hunter safety instructor and a member of the New York State Falconry Association. In addition, Mr. Thomas was a musician who played the bass.

He is survived by his wife of 22 years, the former Tracy

Winstel; a son, Justin Dixon; a daughter, Hannah; a sister,

Judith A. Meahl; and three brothers, James R., Jeffrey A. and Jerol D.

A memorial service will be at 7 p.m. Thursday in Hess Road Wesleyan Church, 2514 Hess Road, Appleton.

[mcneil]