Richard Lee Thomas, 87, of Pinehurst, passed peacefully Monday, Nov. 27, 2017 at his home surrounded by family.

Dick was born in Indianapolis, IN on August 20, 1930 to the late Arthur Earle and Mildred Ann Stine Thomas. He graduated from Arsenal Technical High School in 1948 and Purdue University in 1952. He was a lifelong member of ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers).

Following his graduation, Dick served in the U.S. Army from 1952 to 1954. He then worked for UnionCarbide in Charleston, WV where he met and married his beloved wife, Marilyn. His career then took him to Exxon Research and Engineering where he worked for 36 years designing and implementing oil refineries in Elizabeth, NJ, Germany, England, Venezuela, and Libya. At Exxon, he was also pivotal on the team that created and implemented the Alaskan Pipeline. He later served as a coal liquefaction consultant to the Department of Energy under the Carter and Reagan administrations.

Dick and Marilyn were residents of Madison, NJ for 30 years where they raised their children before retiring to Pinehurst to play golf and enjoy the wonderful climate. He possessed a wonderfully wry sense of humor. He was an avid reader, bridge player, crossword puzzle solver and loved to make homemade ice cream every Fourth of July.

He is preceded in death by his parents, brother Arthur E. Thomas, Jr. and sister Marjorie Ann Matillo.

Dick is survived by his loving wife of 61 years, Marilyn Douglas Thomas and their children, son Mark Thomas of Henryville, PA, daughter Linda Thomas of Pinehurst, and daughter Jennifer Thomas (husband Carl Danis) of Whispering Pines; and grandchildren Justin Thomas (wife Meg) of Lynchburg, VA, Brendan Thomas of Asheville, NC, Meredith Thomas (Stroudsburg, PA) and Mia Todarello of Whispering Pines, NC.

Funeral services will be private.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of Richard Lee Thomas, please visit Boles’ Tribute Store.

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Mr. Thomas’ family and friends are in our thoughts and prayers at Sandhills Sentinel.

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