A joint memorial service will be held for David P. Thomas and Geraldine A. Thomas on Thursday September 13th at 10:00 AM at University Congregation UCC in Seattle with a reception to follow.
David P. Thomas, devoted husband, father, grandfather, professor, and community volunteer, died peacefully in his sleep on August 25, 2012 at Sheldon Park assisted living in Eugene, Oregon.
Geraldine A. Thomas devoted wife, mother, grandmother and community volunteer, died peacefully in her sleep on September 16, 2011 at Sheldon Park assisted living in Eugene, Oregon.
David "Dave" Phillip THOMAS
1918 ~ 2012
David was born in Wasco, Oregon on July 7, 1918. He was the second son of William Phillip Thomas and Mabel Josephine Hulery Thomas. The family moved to Astoria, Oregon in 1926 and then to Seattle in 1931. David attended John Marshall Junior High School, and Roosevelt High School.
David joined Boy Scout Troop 151 in 1931 and earned the rank of Eagle Scout in 1937. As a lifelong scout, he served in various positions including Cubmaster, Scoutmaster, District Leadership Training Chairman, District Chairman, Chief Seattle Council Leadership Training Chairman and Council Commissioner. He was a long time member of the Chief Seattle Council Executive Board. In 1962, he received the Silver Beaver Award.
He received a bachelor's degree of forestry in 1941. His forestry career was interrupted when he volunteered for the U.S. Naval Reserve Midshipman Training School in June of 1941. He was commissioned Ensign, USNR in September 1941 and ordered to the carrier USS LEXINGTON. December 7, 1941 he was west of Pearl Harbor with a carrier task force assigned to delivering scouting planes to Wake Island. He saw action in Pacific engagements at Rabaul, Salamaua, Lae,Tulagi, and the Battle of the Coral Sea. As a LEXINGTON survivor of the Battle of the Coral Sea, he was subsequently assigned to the battleship USS NEVADA, on which he saw action at Attu, in the North Pacific; at Utah Beach and Cherbourg in the Normandy Campaign; at Toulon and Marseilles, in the invasion of Southern France; and more action back in the Pacific at Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and Jaluit.
David Phillip Thomas and Geraldine Alaire Culross were married October 15, 1943 in Trinity Episcopal Church at Boston, Massachusetts, after a nine year courtship dating back to their Junior High days. At the time of their marriage, David was a lieutenant on active duty with the Navy as a watch and division officer on the NEVADA serving as flagship for Atlantic convoys. Geraldine lived in Boston the first year of their marriage while David got back into port for three to five days every five or six weeks.
In 1945, Dave and Gerry had a son, Larry, who lives in Eugene, Oregon with his wife Simone. In 1948, a second son was born, Jeffrey, who lives in Bend, Oregon with his wife Carolyn. In 1957, their third son, Glenn, was born, who lives in Ketchum, Idaho with his wife Janet.
After receiving his master's degree from the University of Washington in 1947, he served three years on the faculty of the New York State College of Forestry at Syracuse University before returning to the University of Washington in 1950 as an assistant professor of forestry.
At the University of Washington over the next 37 years, he advanced from assistant professor, to associate professor, to professor of forest resources. David served in various administrative positions as director of the Institute of Forest Resources, associate dean of forestry, and chairman of the department of forest management. His focus was on undergraduate instruction, counseling and the administration of special programs. For many years, he directed the University's Secondary Science Training Program and the Junior Science and Humanities Program for high school students. As special assistant to the Vice President and Provost, during the Vietnam era, he was often referred to as "the War and Peace Department" for his dual responsibilities as academic advisor to the ROTC program and technical advisor to the Peace Corps program in Chile. Upon retirement from active service, December 31, 1983, he was honored by the Board of Regents with the title of Professor Emeritus of Forest Resources.
David served the State of Washington on the technical advisory committee to the Forest Practices Board that drafted the first administrative code for the Forest Practices Act. He was subsequently appointed by Governor John Spellman to serve a three-year term on the Forest Practices Appeals Board.
He was active in the Society of American Foresters throughout his career. He served as chairman of the Washington State Society of American Foresters and was honored by the national body by election to the status of Fellow.
David was a member of the University Lions Club and served a term as president.
David was very a committed Christian and active Church member. In the 1950's and early 60's Dave taught high school Sunday school at the Green Lake Congregational Church and he sang in the choir. Dave was chairman of the building committee that helped relocate that church out to NE 100th street when the plans for the construction of Interstate 5 looked as though it would take out the Green Lake building. Dave continued to teach the High school classes through 1963. David started to attend University Congregational UCC in the late 60's and for many years he and Gerry attended the churches summer camp at Seabeck.
Geraldine "Gerry" Alair Culross THOMAS
1919 ~ 2011
Geraldine was born in Seattle, Washington on November 27, 1919. She was the only child of Wallace Burns Culross and Lucile Oakley Culross. Gerry resided in Seattle most of her life. She attended University Heights, John Marshall Junior High, Roosevelt High School and the University of Washington.
During her school years she was active in Rainbow Girls and was Worthy Advisor of the University Assembly. Gerry was a Sigma Tau Alpha at the University of Washington. During the summers of her college years, she worked at Mount Rainier National Park.
In her adult years, she served as Sunday school teacher, den mother, president of Nathan Hale PTA, and she was active in the University of Washington Faculty Auxiliary as well as the University Congregational UCC Women's Fellowship. She enjoyed Bible Study Groups, Book Clubs, and summer camp at Seabeck.
Gerry was an avid birdwatcher and spent hours hiking to many locations to pursue her interest. She enjoyed camping and traveling with Dave. She particularly enjoyed trips to South America, Europe and Indonesia. She loved to read and was famous for her culinary skills especially her cookies for her children and grandchildren. She loved to go for a walk everyday as long as she was able. She was a kind and loving mother, mother-in-law, grandmother and friend.
Dave and Gerry are survived by their sons, daughter's-in-law, and three grandsons David Lawrence Thomas and John Scott Thomas of Eugene and Justin Tyler Thomas and wife Rachel of Tucson. David is also survived by his brother Dr. Robert Willard Thomas of Coto De Caza, CA. An older brother John William Thomas of Santa Rosa, CA preceded David in death.
In Lieu of flowers please send charitable donations to University Congregational United Church of Christ memorial fund at 4515 16th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98105-4201 or a
Sign Dave and Gerry's on-line Guest Book at www.Legacy.com.