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Obituary: William D. Thomas

Beloved husband, grandfather, U.S. Navy veteran

William D. (Bill) Thomas died peacefully on June 29, four days short of his 98th birthday, at Mt. San Antonio Gardens in Pomona.

Bill was born on July 3, 1924, and grew up in Park Ridge, Illinois. He attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, graduating in 1946 with a degree in aeronautical engineering. While at Rensselaer, he was a member of the Theta Xi fraternity and an ROTC candidate with the United States Navy. He was on active duty from 1943 to 1949 in the Pacific Theater and was honorably discharged in 1955.

While working in Ohio at Cleveland Pneumatic Tool, he met the woman who was to be his wife, Rosemary, and they married in 1950. In 1958, he moved his family to Claremont to join H.W. Loud Machine Works.

He progressed through his career with several aerospace design and manufacturing companies in Southern California, eventually becoming co-owner and vice president of engineering at Loud Engineering and Manufacturing.

He loved spending time with his wife and family. His spare time was spent in his workshop, where he enjoyed building replica small scale remote-control airplanes and boats. In the evening, he always had a book to read.

Upon retirement, the couple caught the travel bug, exploring a few countries in Europe and visiting with family and friends throughout the U.S. He also enjoyed volunteering with an organization that provided technical textbooks for the blind.

The couple moved to Mt. San Antonio Gardens in 2004 after living and raising their family in the same house in Claremont for 46 years. While at the Gardens, he was part of the team that ran the audio/visual department for various functions on the campus.

He is survived by his wife, Rosemary; children Jeff, Dan, Greg, and Christine (husband Scott); and grandchildren David, Sarah, Kaitlyn, and Erik.

Per his request, his ashes will be spread at sea by the United States Navy.

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