Alan Thomas

Alan Thomas
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Retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Alan Brainerd Thomas, 94, of Belleville, IL, formerly of Tucson, AZ, born January 13, 1922, in Maquoketa, IA, made his “last flight” on Sunday, August 21, 2016 at St. Paul’s Home, Belleville, IL.

Upon his fathers’ appointment to the University of Arizona as Professor of Law in 1929, his family moved from Davenport, IA, and settled in Tucson, AZ. Col. Thomas attended Tucson schools and the University of Arizona before entering the military service in 1943.  He served 30 years in the U.S. Army and the U.S. Air Force, including combat tours in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam.  He was a decorated pilot, holding numerous service awards.  He was a life member of many military and aviation related organizations including The Military Officers Association of America, The Air Force Association, the Military Order of the World Wars, the Order of Daedalians, the Soaring Society of America, and the Experimental Aircraft Association.

Whenever Colonel Thomas heard someone quote the old saying, “Old soldiers never die, they just fade away,” he would hasten to add, “Old pilots never die, they just fly to a higher plane.”

Alan was preceded in death by his first wife of 50 years, Miriam F. Otto Thomas; his second wife of seven years, Margaret Cherry Robb Thomas; his parents, Floyd E. and Beth, nee Brainerd, Thomas; and one brother Berwyn Thomas.

Surviving are his wife, Dorothy Altman Thomas;
one son, Alan B. Jr. (Michele) Thomas of Roswell, GA;
two daughters, Betsy Thomas of Tucson, AZ,
and Margaret Thomas (Steve) Tlsty of Bellevue, NE;
one step-daughter, Pam (Jim) Andrew of Smithton, IL;
granddaughters, Nicole (Jason) Thibo of Roswell, GA,
and Alesha (Mitch) Adwar, of Huntington, NY;
grandsons, Timothy (Sydney) Tlsty and Andrew Tlsty, both of Bellevue, NE;
and great-grandchildren, Austin and Ava Thibo of Roswell, GA,
Sophie and Ethan Adwar of Huntington, NY,
and Oliver Tlsty of Bellevue, NE.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Wright Flight at 7075 S. Plumber Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85706, to the Alzheimer’s Association at 3003 S. Country Club Road, Tucson, AZ 85713, or to the Boy Scouts of America, 5049 E. Broadway, Tucson, AZ 85711.   Condolences may be expressed to the family online at

Funeral:  A Memorial Service followed by burial with Military Honors will be held at 2:00 PM on Monday, October 24, 2016 at East Lawn Palms Cemetery, Tuscon, AZ.

Condolences Left For Alan Thomas

We send our love with fond memories of your Dad and Mom as charter members of Beautful Savior Lutheran Church. May our Lord comfort you in your sadness.
Pastor Dan & Jane Hodgson

Pastor Daniel Hodgson, Tucson , AZ, 85704

Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. What an amazing man and a great legacy he leaves for you and your family.

Ricki and Mke Vann, Roswell, Ga, 30976


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