Lona Belle (Bayne) Thayer

January 13-1945-September 12, 2023

HARRISON, Neb. - Lona Belle (Bayne) Thayer was born on January 13, 1945, and entered eternal rest unexpectedly on September 12, 2023, at 78, after a brief battle with West Nile Virus. Funeral services will be held Monday, September 18, at 10:30 a.m. at the United Methodist Church in Harrison, NE. Burial to follow at the Harrison Cemetery. A luncheon will follow after the graveside service. 

Lona was born in Hot Springs, SD, to Cecil and Vurel Bayne, joining siblings Chad, Sammie, and Chan, and was later joined by two more siblings, Mike and Tom. She spent most of her childhood traveling to many places around the country for her father’s job until they landed in Harrison, Nebraska. Lona graduated from Sioux County High School in 1964, and this is where she met her high-school sweetheart and the love of her life, Gary Thayer. 

Gary and Lona were married on September 15, 1964, at the Methodist Church in Harrison. They made their permanent home northeast of Harrison on the Thayer Family Homestead, established in 1897. To this union, they welcomed their first child, Bradley Allen. Two years later, they welcomed a daughter, Brandi Jo. Gary and Lona purchased the Thayer Family Ranch 30 years ago after managing the ranch operations 20 years before.

Lona was a vibrant spirit with an infectious laugh. You rarely caught her without a smile on her face, and she always had time to stop and chat with anyone. She found joy and excitement on the golf course and in the casino, though she didn’t win much at either. She was a huge Sioux County Warriors fan and was one of the loudest and proudest in the stands, rarely missing a grandchild’s activity. She spent many years working at the Sunshine Center in Harrison as a cook and a manager and greatly enjoyed her time working there with many special friends. Lona was also chair of the Sioux County High School Alumni Committee and took great pride in putting together yearly alumni banquets. 

Her family was her greatest accomplishment, giving unconditional, everlasting love to her husband, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She never missed an opportunity to play with her grandkids, tell stories, and love up on them with a Carmex smooch on the cheek. They were the absolute light of her life and brought her great joy. 

She is survived by her husband Gary of nearly 59 years; Son, Bradley (Tricia) Thayer; Daughter, Brandi Thayer Dimmitt; Grandchildren: Josh (Lisa) Thayer, Jake (Autumn) Thayer, Taryn (Brad) Vasa, Katy Dimmitt, Trey (Danielle) Thayer, Maddy (special friend, Daniel) Dimmitt; Great grandchildren: Alexis, Kolby, Jace, Jordan, Maci, and Tezlyn;Brother, Chan (Linda) Bayne; sisters-in-law, Janice (Don) Thayer Lampert, Kathy (David) Thayer Gombas, and Jan Bayne; brother-in-laws Ronald Thayer and Dale Thayer; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and special friends. 

She was welcomed to Heaven by her parents, Cecil and Vurel Bayne; in-laws, Charles and Mabel Thayer; son-in-law, Daniel Dimmitt; her siblings and their spouses, Chad (Nancy) Bayne, Sammie (Bob) Scott, Mike Bayne, and Tom (Thelma) Bayne; sister-in-law Ruth Thayer; and many special friends and family members. 

Visitation will be held on Sunday, September 17, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the United Methodist Church in Harrison, NE.

A memorial has been established for the Harrison Volunteer Fire Department and Circle of Light.

Pier Funeral Home in Lusk, Wyoming is in charge of the funeral arrangements.