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Thomas A. Holgate

Thomas A. Holgate

Thomas A. Holgate passed away peacefully in his home October 28, 2012 at the age of 96.

Thomas was born July 27 1916 in Ely, NV. and was raised in Shorewood, WI. He was preceded in death by his wife of 26 years Louise Brawley Holgate, first wife Eleanor Hoem Holgate, brother Gib Holgate and sister Jean Pohle. He is survived by sisters Mary Dohmen and Ruth O'Brien, son James Holgate of Asker, Norway, daughter Lynne Brawley Burkwist of Eagle River, AK., grandchildren Joshua Burkwist, Hilde, Erik and Lars Holgate and great grandson Zackary Thomas Holgate. Thomas was also the guardian angel to his first great granddaughter Hannah Louise Burkwist born the day after he passed and two weeks early.

Thomas was an Aeronautical, flight test, wind tunnel, structural engineer. At the Martin Co.; in his early years he was influenced by the B-26 design and improved its reliability and safety during WWII. He moved to Seattle, WA. in 1950 and worked for over 30 years for the Boeing Co. He enjoyed projects such as the B-52, SST and 737 aircrafts as well as the Hydrofoil program in its infancy. After retirement he and a few retired engineer buddies, utilized the Boeing wind tunnel to help redesign the US Olympic Bobsled as well as the keel of a yacht in the American Cup. Both won their races after the engineers perfected the redesigns.

Thomas enjoyed flying and held he's own pilots license. He was a member of the American Aeronautical Astronautics Assoc. for more than 40 years, Toast Masters Int'l over 50 years, Docent at the Boeing Flight Museum having dedicated over five thousand volunteer hours of service and a member of the Marine View Presbyterian church over 30 years, singing in the choir until his was 90.

Thomas loved to camp, hike, play tennis, sail and fly. He loved to do water colorings of places he'd been and traveled to and gave them away to friends and family. His motto at retirement was to never pass a person without acknowledging and talking to them and all who knew him know that he lived up to that motto. He loved life and everyone he knew and met.

There will be a celebration of his life held this coming July when all the family will be able to be together. Anyone For those wishing to make a memorial in his name the family suggests the Boeing Flight Museum or the Marine view Presbyterian Church.

Wishing to be notified of this event please contact Lynne Burkwist at: msburky@gmail.com or 18052 Teklanika Drive Eagle River, AK. 99577.

Published in The Seattle Times on Dec. 9, 2012
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