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Glenn's Story

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WICHITA, KS - Thomas, Glenn Richard "Dick"
88, Architect, Industrial Designer and inventor, died Monday, November 20, 2017. Preceded in death by his wife, Frances Hart Thomas; parents, Evan and Thelma Thomas; and son Evan Milam Thomas. Survived by his daughters, Laurette (Tim) Lahey of Wichita, KS, Andrien Thomas (David) of Minneapolis, MN; sons, Markham Thomas (Suanne) of Edmond, OK; Reagan (Yankun) Thomas of Stillwater, OK; nine grandchildren, Whitney Webber (Aaron), Thomas Lahey, Maureen Hageman (Wade), Caitlin Lahey, Patrick Lahey, Sage Coy, Amalie Thomas, Rannock Thomas, Della Thomas; and one great-granddaughter, Grace Hart Webber. Dick Thomas served in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers during the Korean War designing physical infrastructure for Aggressor war games and entertained his children with stories of army training exercises and speaking Esperanto. After receiving a degree in Architecture from the University of Oklahoma, Dick worked for various architecture and design firms before establishing Thomas Design and his prototype shop. Dick was inspired by the architecture of Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright, but industrial and automotive design was his passion. His work ranged from designing churches and schools to drilling rigs for the oil and mining industries and all-terrain vehicles for ranchers. Encouraged by colleagues to share his knowledge and experiences in a university setting, Dick taught product design and illustration courses in the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology at Oklahoma State University from 1976 until he retired in 1992. Dick was a member of multiple car clubs including the Studebaker Drivers Club, Tucker Automobile Car Club and was President of the Checker Car Club of America. A car-nut all of his life, he was a hobbyist car designer and re-designed future versions of his favorite classic cars including the Cord, the Tucker, and the Checker Marathon. A prized possession was a letter from the late Alex Tremulis, Tucker designer, who complimented Dick on his design of an aerodynamic 18-wheeler featured on the June 1986 cover of Popular Mechanics. Dick took up ballroom dancing and rescuing Checkers after Frances, the love of his life, died in 1987. Dick became known as "Popeye" to family and close friends - a name given by his first grandchild. Graveside Service will be at 1pm, Saturday, November 25 at Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens, Oklahoma City, OK. In lieu of flowers, a memorial scholarship has been established with the OSU Foundation, PO Box 1749, Stillwater, OK 74076. In the memo line please note the Glenn Richard Thomas Scholarship in CEAT. Downing & Lahey Mortuary - East Chapel. Share tributes online at www.dlwichita.com
Published on November 23, 2017
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