John  Thomas

Obituary of John Charles Thomas

John Charles Thomas died at home on December 31, 2021, on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. He was 83.

John was born on May 8, 1938, in Baltimore, Maryland, to Melvin C. Thomas, Sr. and Sylvia M. Thomas.  He was predeceased by his parents and by his sister, Patricia A. Thomas, and his brother, Melvin C. Thomas, Jr.

John completed his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering at the Johns Hopkins University in 1960.  He then completed a master’s degree in nuclear engineering at the University of Maryland in 1963, a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at the University of Akron in 1970, and a master’s Degree in Government and Public Administration at the University of Virginia in 1985.  He was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army in 1962, upon which he served in Verdun, France, with the Corps of Engineers.  After leaving military service as a First Lieutenant, John later worked as a civilian engineer for the U.S. Army at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.  He ultimately concluded his career at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia.

Upon retirement, John moved to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.  A skilled sailor for most of his life, John obtained his airplane pilot’s license while in his mid-70s. At the same time, he also purchased and learned to drive a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.  A tireless volunteer for the Boy Scouts of America and Little League baseball, John was also an exceptional mathematician and handyman, always repairing and building household items.  He strived to remain abreast of current events and developments in chemistry and physics.  He and his life partner Maxine Uttal enjoyed biking, dancing, and traveling together.

John is survived by his sister Charlotte M. Laird (John,) his daughter Judith Thomas Miller (David,) his son John Robinson Thomas (Bota,) and his granddaughter Karen Umeda Thomas.  A celebration of life is planned for a future date.  Donations may be made to the Bone Health & Osteoporosis Foundation at

A Memorial Tree was planted for John
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at The Island Funeral Home & Crematory
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