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Kenneth Thomas

1925 - 2016 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Kenneth Thomas Obituary
Thomas, Kenneth
Kenneth Thomas, 91 of Chandler, businessman, civic leader, and devoted photographer, went home to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, on Sunday morning October 16, 2016. Kenneth was born in Phoenix to parents John D. and Mary Ceinwen Morris Thomas on March 22, 1925. As his father was field superintendent of Arizona Sand and Rock, Kenneth traveled and attended many different schools around the state while growing up, including Fowler, Casa Grande, Flagstaff, Chambers, Tolleson, North High School, and graduating from Phoenix Union High School in 1942. Kenneth joined the United States Navy during World War II in 1943, and was honorably discharged in 1946. On July 25, 1944, he married his high school sweetheart, Vena Calhoun, while stationed in Norfolk, VA. In 1946, Kenneth and Vena settled in Chandler. While she attended to the household and raising three sons, Kenneth joined the family business, Thomas Locker, a position he held until January 1, 1995. While residing in Chandler, during the years of 1964 through 1979, he served on the City Council, as Vice Mayor, and was elected twice as Mayor. He also served as treasurer of the Maricopa Association of Government. Kenneth led a busy life apart from raising his family. He was involved in Little, Pony and Babe Ruth Leagues. His most enjoyable moments, however, were behind his technical field camera and working in his darkroom. His passion for photography started in high school and lasted throughout his lifetime. He relished traveling with family and friends to nearly every state and many foreign nations including Wales, England, Ireland, Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Taiwan, Thailand, Greece, Italy and Spain. Many of his 16x20 prints hang in households throughout the United States and other countries. His book, "A Photographer's Guide to the Grand Canyon", was a best seller for seventeen years at the Visitors Center, South Rim, Grand Canyon National Park. His two favorite photographic quotes were; "You don't have to be crazy to be a photographer, but it helps" and "light is the indispensable element." As we say goodbye, we as believers in Jesus Christ, never say farewell, for we shall see him again. Kenneth was preceded in death by his beloved wife Vena, his parents and brother David. He is survived by sons Gary (Claudia), Keith (Shirley), Rick (Lita) also six grandchildren, and seven great grandchildren. He leaves a lifetime of memories and a legacy of integrity, generosity, and fairness. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to either Arizona Humane Society, azhumane.org, , hov.org or Samaritans Purse, samaritanspurse.org. There will be a Celebration of Life Service scheduled during the month of January, 2017. Please visit www.greenwoodmemorylawn.com for further information.
Published in The Arizona Republic on Oct. 23, 2016
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