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Robert Deane Thulman

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THULMAN , Robert Deane Robert (Bob) Deane Thulman died of cancer peacefully at home in Clarksville, MD, with his children and dogs by his side, early the morning of July 22, 2009. Bob was a loving father and gifted and creative man--inventor, businessman, musician, pilot, world traveler, loyal friend, who lived life with adventure, humor, and compassion. Always ready with a witty remark, Bob made a connection with everyone he met; he was everybody's friend. Bob was born in Westchester County, New York, in 1930 and grew up in Chevy Chase, Maryland, working on cars and tending his Victory Garden. After graduating from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1952 with degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Business and Engineering Administration, Bob went into business with his father, where they perfected the freestanding fireplace. Later, Bob started Thulman Eastern Corp. in Ellicott City, Maryland, selling fireplaces and inventing several high-efficiency wood-burning stoves. Never one to sit still, Bob took up flying, and in 1988, he and a college buddy flew a single engine Bonanza from Baltimore to Sydney, Australia, navigating the North Atlantic, Europe, Africa, Southwest and Southeast Asia. In the mid-1990s he helped organize a regular tennis group and for the last several years gave an annual tennis party that was a great smash. Bob was a gifted clarinet and saxophonist who played in and led several Dixieland and swing bands in the Washington and Baltimore areas, including the Bay City 7, the Baltimore Jazz Factory, and The Last Chance Jazz Band. He had a loyal following of listeners and dancers who packed the house to hear him play swing and traditional jazz. Most recently, he shared the home he loved as the venue for a series of eclectic memorable concerts for his loyal fans and friends. Bob was a supportive father and grandfather, always ready to encourage us to try something new. He loved his family, the home he built, his music, his friends, and his dogs-these meant the world to Bob. We will miss him greatly. Bob is survived by his children David Kelley Thulman, Mary Kelley Thulman, and Victoria Parker Thulman; and all his grandchildren--Lewis, Robert, Thomas, Eva, David, and Keely Jean.
In lieu of gifts, the family asks that you donate to the Greenebaum Cancer Center at the University of Maryland, Director's Office, 21201. The Thulman family is hosting an Open House celebration of Bob's life at his home in Clarksville, Maryland on August 2, 2009, from 2-5.
Published in Baltimore Sun on July 26, 2009
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