Charles R. ‘Chuck’ Thomas

Charles R. (Chuck) Thomas passed away peacefully at his home Sunday, June 2, 2019. Chuck Thomas was born Aug. 13, 1927, in Jamestown, N. D., the only child to Howard and Viola Thomas. The family soon moved to Southern California, where Chuck graduated from Compton High School. He served with the Army Air Force from 1945-1947 as a radio operator mechanic, serving with the 317th Troop Carrier Group, Tachikawa Air Base, Japan.

He then went to work for the U.S. Naval Ordnance Test Station at China Lake, where he worked for many years, retiring in the mid-1980s. He enjoyed living in Ridgecrest for close to 70 years.

With his first wife, Elizabeth Clarke, he had two children, Karen and Scott. With his second wife, Elaine Moriarty, he gained three stepchildren, Denise, Susan and David. Chuck was predeceased by his stepdaughter Denise McEntee and most recently by his wife, Elaine Thomas. In addition to Karen Sanders, Scott Thomas, Susan Brock and David Cleveland, he leaves behind his grandchildren Jennifer Quinton, Matthew Sanders, Kevin Sanders, Victor Kunkel, Matthew McKinney, Michael McKinney, Stephanie Martinez, Jessica Luoma, Kathryn McKinney, Joseph Cleveland, Derek Cleveland, Jeremiah Cleveland and David Cleveland, Jr., as well as 12 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild, as well as his faithful dog Riley.

Chuck enjoyed motorcycles, dirt bikes, dune buggies and camping, exploring all the dirt roads and terrain the region has to offer. Ever the adventurer, he had so many stories to share and enjoyed regaling his listeners with his various adventures. He also spent several years breeding and racing greyhounds.

A Celebration of Life will be planned for the near future. For further information about the celebration, please contact Karen Sanders at kmkstahoe@sbcglobal.net.

— Submitted by the family of Charles Thomas

Story First Published: 2019-06-28