Thor died May 2, 2004, from esophageal cancer. He was 57.
Born in Philadelphia, Thor prepared at Holy Cross High School in Delran, N.J. At Princeton, he majored in aeronautical engineering, joined Key and Seal, and formed lifelong friendships with roommates Ken Kreis, Rich Jagacinski, and Alex Zarechnak.
Thor received a Ph.D. from Brown in 1975. After working at the Naval Air Propulsion Center in Philadelphia, he joined the FAA Technical Center in Pomona, N.J. He spent his career there, retiring in 1997 as manager of the fire research branch. He held two patents related to the ventilation of smoke from aircraft fires, and received numerous awards for his writing and research in preventing fuel-tank explosions and improving aircraft fire safety.
Upon retirement, Thor started a consulting company and became the stay-at-home parent for his two sons, while his wife began working full time. Initially treated in 1997, Thor continued to work, read extensively, travel with his family, and collect pottery while in remission.
To Thor's widow, Mary '76; sons Robert and Andrew; and mother Mary V. Eklund, the class extends heartfelt condolences.
The Class of 1968