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Famous Freemason - Bro. Dave Thomas

Opportunities don't knock at all. They don't have to, they're already all around us. It's up to us to see where they are and take advantage of them.

Dave Thomas was born Rex David Thomas in Atlantic City, New Jersey on July 2, 1932. He was adopted at 6 months old by a couple from Kalamazoo, Michigan and at age 5 his mother passed away. By the age of 12, Dave had lost two stepmothers and his father moved the family to Fort Wayne, Indiana. In Fort Wayne, Dave worked many odd jobs such as paperboy, golf caddy, and drugstore soda fountain counter attendant. At 15, he got his first steady job at a The Hobby House restaurant and when his father decided to move the family again, Dave refused, dropped out of high school and started full time work.

Through connections in the U.S army and at The Hobby House, Thomas was given the opportunity to move to Columbus, OH to improve some of the first KFC restaurants, which were failing at the time. In just a few years, Thomas sold the franchises back to the headquarters for $1.5 million.

With this money, Thomas opened up his own hamburger restaurant in Ohio in 1969, named Wendy’s after his young daughter’s nickname. This small venture became a large scale operation in less than a decade and ten years after its start, had 1,000 stores to its name. He was also the first to successfully implement a drive-through pick up, now a staple in fast food restaurants throughout the world.

In 1992 Thomas founded the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption the Foundation provides funding to adoption agencies to hire recruiters who implement an evidence-based, child-focused recruitment model.

Dave Thomas was a member of Sol. D. Bayless Lodge #359. He was initiated at the age of 27 on April 13, 1959, passed on April 20, 1959 and raised on May 25, 1959 at The Masonic Temple in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Thomas was also a 33° Scottish Rite Mason and Shriner.

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