Stuart William Thomson
(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
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