In Memoriam

Stuart William Thomson
22April 2017

Col. (Ret) Stuart "Stu" W. Thomson lost his life to cancer on April 22, 2017. He died peacefully at his home in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., surrounded by his family.

In June 1964, Stu entered USAFA having graduated from Fox Lane High School in Bedford, N.Y. He long held dreams of becoming a pilot and later trained at Williams AFB where he was assigned to fly C-130s and later the AC-130 Spectre Gunship on deployment to Thailand during the Vietnam War, where he earned the Distinguished Flying Cross. Soon after beginning pilot training, Stu married the love of his life, Janis Larson, in December 1968 in Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.

The two enjoyed 10 years of assignments, including seven years abroad, before starting a family. Stu and Jan were blessed with two amazing children, Chris and Lauren. In the summer of 1988, Stu retired from the Air Force. His final assignment was serving in the Secretary of the Air Force Legislative Affairs office at the Pentagon. He led congressional travel, frequently accompanying speaker Tip O'Neill, senators, and other representatives around the world.

As a civilian, Stu and his family returned to Southern California where he spent three years working at Parr Contracting Company and 14 years at McDonnell/Douglas and Boeing. At Boeing, he was vice president for International Business Development for Military Aircraft. During this time, he was integral to the development and success of the C-17 program.

After his retirement from Boeing, Stu and Jan traveled to all seven continents and further explored the United States, making Maui a second home that they loved sharing with friends and family. Stu loved nothing more than a beach day with his wife and family watching the whales and enjoying the ocean.

Stu is survived by his wife, Jan; his son Chris Thomson (Amanda Caracci), his daughter Lauren Thomson (Carl Woog), grandson Zev Woog; his brother H. Scott Thomson and sister M. Stacey Thomson.

An intimate celebration of life was held at his home on May 6, 2017. Jeff Parrish (USAFA '68) and Dave Fales (USAFA '66) were among those who spoke at the service, where the Air Force rendered complete military honors. Friends and family enjoyed some of Stu's favorite things (lasagna, chocolate chip cookies, and Maui Brewing Company beer) while reflecting on his lasting influence. Stu's ashes will be spread on Maui by family and close friends in 2018.

Those who knew and loved him are deeply saddened by his loss. He was a devoted husband, a loving father, brother and "Baba"; a dedicated and trusted friend, and always a "good citizen." His legacy of kindness and respect for all will not be forgotten.

(Written by Lauren Thomson and Carl Woog, son-in-law)

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