ARLINGTON -- Retired USAF Lt. Col. Maurice Charles "M.C." Thomas died peacefully in the presence of his family in Arlington on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016.
Graveside service: 1:15 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10, in Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery.
Visitation: The family will receive friends 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 9, at Wade Family Funeral Home, 4140 W. Pioneer Pkwy., Arlington.
Lt. Col. Thomas was born to McVey and Cleo Thomas on Aug. 1, 1926, in Houston. He lived a full life and was an accomplished pianist by the time he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps in July 1944, serving on a B-17 crew during the last days of the war in Europe. He returned home after the war to attend and graduate from the University of Houston (Class of 1949), and later, the U.S. Air Force Pilot School at Reese Air Force Base, Lubbock, (Class of 50-G). He was an officer, command pilot and veteran of three wars--World War II, Korea and Vietnam.
He met the love of his life, Patsy Prewitt, in Lubbock, and they were married in June 1951. He and Patsy raised three children as they moved from Texas to Maryland, Japan, Montana, California, Washington, D.C., and eventually home to Fort Worth and Arlington.
Lt. Col. Thomas retired from Carswell AFB, 7th Bomb Wing, SAC, in 1969 and immediately joined American Airlines as a flight instructor, rapidly working his way up to V.P. of Marketing & Training. He enjoyed his work and travels throughout the world and retired from AA in 1982.
Papa was a wonderful pianist and passed on his love of music (and piano lessons) to his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He especially loved flying, but had many other hobbies including fly-fishing, bow-fishing, oil painting, model airplane building and model railroading. He was a kit-car builder, carpenter and all-round super handyman. There was nothing he couldn't repair or clean up with a little gray duct tape and spray paint.
Papa was also an avid reader and history buff, and he had an amazing memory for facts and details. He was challenged by his study of the Bible with BSF. He and Patsy were believers and they passed on their heritage and love of Christ to their family.
Our Papa will be deeply missed.
Survivors: He is survived by Patsy, wife of 65 years; daughter, Lisa McDonald (husband, Curtis); and sons, Joel (wife, Terry) and Mark Thomas. Papa especially loved his grandchildren, Jordan McDonald (wife, Kristen), Allison McDonald Dahlke (husband, Kevin) and Valerye Thomas; as well as his great-grandchildren, Kamryn Dutton, Jack and Darcy McDonald, and Dorian Dahlke.
Wade Family Funeral Home