Arthur Thomas, age 89, was born in Cleveland, Ohio to Walter and Genevieve Thomas in 1925. His beloved sister, Zylpha, came along four years later in 1929. He leaves behind to mourn, but also to celebrate his amazing life, his nephews Bill Thailing (Karen) of Chagrin Falls, Bruce Thailing of North Ridgeville, and Eric Thailing of Lakewood.
Growing up during The Great Depression left a lasting impact that taught him the true value of security–that having a roof over one's head and food on the table were valuable assets to have. Because of this experience, Arthur always appreciated those basic things which most of us take for granted. He was not one to chase after the luxuries of life, but rather believed that less is more – and he lived by that philosophy.
As a World War II infantryman, Arthur traveled extensively throughout Europe and returned with a myriad of stories which he regaled others with. He was a 47 year member of the American Legion with Ventura Post #339.
The traveling spirit that emerged within him while in Europe stayed with him when he returned from overseas, and he took up work which led him to criss-cross the country and live in many different places over the rest of his career. This extensive travel and gypsy lifestyle let him to meet many colorful characters over the years, and this, in-turn, led him to develop his own life in colorful directions.
Arthur was a talented and intelligent aerospace engineer who worked closely with the US Air Force, and he became an important asset to the employers that he worked for because of his technical abilities and analytical skills.
Though he lived a simple and austere lifestyle, his aerospace background manifested itself into one of the luxuries that he did allow himself, which was flying. Arthur was a pilot. He loved to fly and owned his own small airplane. Being a pilot not only tied in with the career that he chose, but also tied in with the philosophy of freedom and independence and travel that defined so much of his life.
The intelligence he possessed and his interest in technical things led him back to school in his 50's. Now retired, he attended California Polytechnic State University and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science in 1982 – stating that he didn't intend to look for work in that field, but merely wanted to keep his mind sharp. And this sharp mind stayed with him for the rest of his life, as did his physical fitness which allowed him to always live independently.
Though his career took him all over the United States, he ended up settling in Morro Bay, California, a small, coastal town where he spent the many years that comprised the rest of his life.
Arthur was a quiet, modest, humble man who loved everyone and who had no enemies. He firmly believed that he was put on this earth to help his fellow man, and although he lived alone, he enjoyed the company of his many friends. He was always eager to lend a hand to anyone needing help, and thoroughly enjoyed being of service to others.
He lived in a simple, self-sufficient way, and always maintained a sense of contentment with his life.
Those who were fortunate enough to really get to know Arthur carry a lasting impression of him, and each of those lives is now fuller due to the fact that we was a part of it.