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Colonel Thomas Leonard Thacker

Author: Alpha Zeta/Thursday, January 24, 2013/Categories: Obituaries

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Colonel Thomas Leonard Thacker, age 94, of Fairborn, Ohio, passed away Thursday, September 27, 2012.

He was born on August 14, 1918, at LeRoy, Michigan, the youngest son of Ralph L. Thacker and Hattie (Madole) Thacker. Tom grew up on a Michigan farm during the great depression. He graduated from Michigan State College (Michigan State University today) and taught high school agriculture for two years at East Jordan, Michigan, where he met his future wife.

He was called to active duty in the Army Air Forces in July 1941, assigned as Supply Officer, 52d Fighter Group. He married Margaret (Peg) Taft in April, 1942, in Florence, South Carolina, before departing overseas with his unit. He served with the 52d Fighter Group during WWII in Ireland, England, Algeria, Tunisia, Sicily, Corsica, and Italy.

Following WWII Col. Thacker was integrated into the Regular Air Force and held various assignments worldwide, including the first Professor of Air Science at Michigan College of Mining & Technology, Houghton, Michigan; and logistics jobs at the Pentagon; Morocco; Eglin AFB, Florida; Izmir, Turkey; and Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio.

Col. Thacker retired from active duty in l968 and became a real estate broker at Fairborn, Ohio, until 2000. He was president and founding member of Dawson Realty Inc., and served on the Greene County Board of Realtors.

He was an adult leader and supporter of the Boy Scout program for over sixty years, receiving the Silver Beaver award and Order of the Arrow Vigil Honor; and was a proud volunteer at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force for many years, achieving over 8,000 hours of service.

Following the death of his wife in 2001, he wrote and published a memoir, Life on a Michigan Farm, and a History of the 52d Fighter Group in WWII. He gained a popular reputation as a writer and teller of stories. His other recreation was gardening.

He is survived by his older brother Francis Thacker (Ingrid), who is still farming in LeRoy; and by his four children, Maj. Brian T. Thacker and Susan Thacker Utzinger (Don) of Ohio, Rebecca Thacker-Clare (Harriet) of Indiana, and Col. Thomas H. Thacker (Diana) of Florida, grand-children Robert, Michael and Jessica, and many great-grandchildren.

In recent years he has had the close support of his friend and associate Dave Cooper, and some wonderful neighbors.

Memorial Service, 4pm, Saturday, 6 October, at Belton-Stroup Funeral Home, Dayton-Yellow Springs Rd, Fairborn, with a gathering afterwards. Burial ceremony will be held at the Maple Hill Cemetery in LeRoy, Michigan, at a later date.

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