Ronald Gene Thomas, co-founder of Crest Flavor Company, died on Jan. 4 at age 78, after suffering a heart attack at his home in Lee’s Summit, Mo.

Thomas spent his career in the feed industry and co-founded Crest Flavor Company with his wife, Shirley, in 1987. In 1992, they built a manufacturing facility in Grandview, Mo., and doubled its capacity in 1999.

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Gene was a member of the American Feed Industry Association and the Wild Bird Feeding Industry.