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THOMAS, Robert D.

Robert D. Thomas — long-time classical music critic and columnist for the Southern California News Group (Pasadena Star-News, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Whittier Daily News, etc.) and former senior director of communications for the Southern California Golf Association, and editor and publisher of its award-winning publication, FORE Magazine — died May 3, 2018, at the age of 72.

For more than 40 years, Thomas wrote a frequent column for the papers, contributed reviews and music features, and kept up two classical music blogs. In addition to the above papers, his work appeared in the other nine Southern California News Group publications, including the Daily News and Orange County Register. His work also appeared in Performing Arts Magazine.

Thomas joined the SCGA in 1983 where he was FORE Magazine's Editor and Publisher. He was responsible for all of the SCGA's communications activities, and during his tenure the association began a highly regarded web site, an electronic newsletter, and three blogs to better communicate with its membership of 155,000 golfers. Thomas also converted the Southern California Directory of Golf to a digest-sized annual that was praised as a significant amateur golf resource. Thomas was instrumental in the founding of the SCGA Hall of Fame, and he continued to serve on the HOF Committee until his death.

A passionate Presbyterian, Thomas was a member of Pasadena Presbyterian Church for 40 years where he sang in the church's Kirk Choir, served several terms as an Elder and Trustee, produced the church's weekly worship bulletin for more than 15 years and contributed to much of the church's communications and music efforts.
He served as the church's Director of Administration for nearly four years and was also a Commissioned Ruling Elder until he retired in 2016.

Thomas was the son of The Reverend Jack and Evelyn Thomas. A native of Sacramento, he moved with his family to Los Angeles at the age of eight and was graduated from Redondo Union High School in Redondo Beach and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Cal State Los Angeles in 1977.

Thomas married his second wife, Nikki, in 1976. They were active in the Verdugo Hills Art Association where he served as President during the past two years, and were members of the choir at La Cañada Presbyterian Church.

In addition to Nikki, he is survived by his mother, Evelyn of Pasadena, CA, daughter, Kimberly (Jeff) of West Hartford, CT, Nikki's son, W.O. Stark, of Los Angeles, his brothers Ken (Sharon) of Atlanta, GA and Dan (Gina) of Placentia, CA and his sister, Rebecca of Charlottesville, VA. He was predeceased by his first wife and their son, Derek.
Published in Pasadena Star-News on May 17, 2018
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