|Birth: ||Feb. 7, 1913|
|Death: ||Jul. 2, 2008|
Loren W. Thomas, 95, Salina, passed away Wednesday, July 2, 2008. Mr. Thomas, devoted husband and father, was born Feb. 7, 1913, in Harrison, Ohio, to Walter D. and Martha Ramsey Thomas.
Mr. Thomas began his career in aviation at a young age, which went on to span a lifetime. He was one of the early pilots during the golden age of flight. He had two years post graduate work at Aviation Vocational, Cincinnati, Ohio, and Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. Plus, he attended the University of Alabama, Montgomery. In addition, he attended Squadron Officers School while assigned to Air University Command. He flew numerous aircraft during his career as a pilot.
When World War II broke out, he was inducted into the Army Air Corps, which is the Air Force now, as a second lieutenant. During this time, because of his extensive flying experience, he instructed young pilots and flew the B-17 and the B-29. After the war, he flew commercially for several businesses. At the outbreak of the Korean conflict, he was activated as an officer and flew over eighty-eight missions and was awarded the Distinguish Flying Cross and the Air Medal five times. He was also a staff pilot in Korea and flew for three generals and Syngman Rhee, president of South Korea at that time. He continued his career with the Air Force, where he flew fighters and bombers as a senior command pilot. He enjoyed Tactical Air Command as a squadron commander flying fighters, and later in his career, he was transferred to Strategic Air Command, flying bombers and tankers. He cherished his time in the cockpit of an aircraft like most pilots of today. He retired from the Air Force as a lieutenant colonel in 1966. Mr. Thomas was a member of Kingdom Hall in Salina.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Elizabeth Collopy, of 53 years; a son, Loren Vincent Thomas; and a grandson, Jason Wayne Mattison.
Survivors include five daughters, Lois Ritter and husband Richard of Salina, Rita Gras and husband John of Sellersville, Pa., Maureen Mattison and husband Roger of Salina, Sabrina Ford and husband Richard of Salina and Tina Thomas of Salina; a son, William W. Thomas and wife Paula of Salina; 10 grandchildren, Linda E. (Ritter) Burton and husband Phillip, Richard Scott Ritter and wife Christina, Wendy S. Gras, Jessica A. (Thomas) Birgulio and husband Jason, Nathan T. Mattison, William V. Thomas, Morgan M. Mattison, Eric R. Ford, Timothy J. Ford and Lane A. Mattison; and four great-grandchildren, Alora Y. Ritter, Joseph Burton, Anthony S. Ritter and Elizabeth A. Ritter.
Visitation will be from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, July 7, 2008, at Roselawn Heights Memorial Chapel, 1920 E. Crawford, Salina, KS 67401, where family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m.
A funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday, July 8, 2008, at the chapel. A private family service will follow the memorial service at the gravesite.
Memorials may be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, in care of the mortuary.
Obituary courtesy of emtsuj Sto.
Mary Thomas (1920 - 1989)
Roselawn Memorial Park Cemetery
Created by: Sunshine
Record added: Jul 04, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 28029310