I think it would be appropriate to thank him in a thesis, but not in a paper.
There is a big cultural difference in how acknowledgments are used in theses and papers. In the common use (at least in my field, but I think this is general), acknowledgments in a paper are reserved for:
- people that actually helped on the topic of the paper, via direct personal interaction, for instance "We thank X for useful discussions" or "We thank Y for providing us the reference  and an alternative proof of Theorem 5"
- funding agencies
- host institutions for a visit, such as "This research was conducted when the first author was on a sabbatical leave at the University of W; she thanks UW for its support".
Other acknowledgments (such as general help, emotional support, parents and partners, etc.) would definitely look out of place. You can put these in your thesis, but in a paper you'd better stick to business and keep it as brief as possible. The acknowledgments section of a paper is not intended as a soapbox (unlike that of a thesis). There are exceptions, but they will raise eyebrows.