Thomas Franklin Parkinson

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Thomas Franklin
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - Thomas Franklin Parkinson, 89, died Monday, January 19, 2015, at the University of Virginia Hospital. Born in Tampa, Florida, February 22, 1925, he was the son of Reverend William Walker Parkinson and Martha Wylie Moffatt. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his beloved wife, Helen Fay Chapman, and his brothers, William Walker Parkinson Jr., and James Moffatt Parkinson.
He is survived by his daughter, Martha Parkinson Craddock and her husband, Dr. George Barksdale Craddock Jr.; his grandchildren, George Barksdale Craddock III and his wife Christina Schmidt Craddock, Jenny Grier Craddock, and Ashley Parkinson Craddock; his great-grandson, George Volland Craddock; and his sister, Jean Parkinson Blackston of Oxford, Mississippi.
An honors graduate of Auburn University with a degree in Engineering Physics, Tom's education was prolonged by two years of active service in the USNR as an Aviation Cadet. He then went on to complete flight training at Pensacola and was commissioned and designated as a Naval Aviator. After his service in the Navy, aviation became an integral part of Tom's life. He obtained a commercial pilot's license and remained an active pilot for more than fifty years.
After two years of research at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tom enrolled in graduate school at the University of Virginia, where he received his PhD in Physics in two years as a Carnegie Fellow. His career in Physics brought him to a role in instrument development and experimental reactor physics for Dupont at the Savannah River Laboratory, and later, a faculty position at the University of Florida, College of Engineering. Tom was a Fulbright Fellow in Madrid, 1966-1967, after which he was appointed Nuclear Engineering Chairman at the University of Missouri. In 1971, he organized and chaired an international conference on nuclear methods in environmental research. In 1975, he joined the faculty at Virginia Tech, and was designated a Professor Emeritus after his retirement in 1990.
Dr. Parkinson was a Fellow of the American Nuclear Society, and Director for Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness. He was a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, Sigma Xi, Kappa Alpha Order, and Rotary International - Paul Harris Fellow. He made numerous visits to Argentina as a technical expert for the International Atomic Energy Agency. He authored or co-authored more than eighty scientific publications.
Tom was a lifelong and devoted Presbyterian. He served the church most recently at First Presbyterian Church, Aiken, S. C., as a deacon, elder, and trustee.
An Internment Service will be held on March 14, 2015, 2:00 PM, First Presbyterian Church Columbarium Courtyard.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to James Strong Moffatt Scholarship Fund, PO Box 205, Erskine College, Due West, SC 29639, or to First Presbyterian Church, 224 Barnwell Avenue, Aiken, SC.
Published in The Aiken Standard and North Augusta Star on Mar. 7, 2015
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