Colonel Thomas Leonard Thacker
Thursday, January 24, 2013
Posted by: Lauren Mangnall
Thomas Leonard Thacker, age 94, of Fairborn, Ohio, passed away Thursday,
September 27, 2012.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
recent years he has had the close support of his friend and associate Dave
Cooper, and some wonderful neighbors.
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.