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John Edward Thomas ’57

Published in Jan. 28, 1998, issue

John died Sept. 19, 1997, in Milwaukee, while hospitalized after a prolonged illness. After preparing at Milwaukee University School, he majored in English and joined the Naval ROTC, the Tiger Inn, and the 21 and Right Wing clubs.

Following graduation, he married Flo Mack and left for Navy duty. When Flo traveled to meet him in Tokyo and could not locate him, the '57 network overcame this; Fran Weber of Naval Intelligence located him off the Philippines and by secret wire informed him Flo would join him in Manila. This was not well received by his commander, whose negative opinion was strengthened when John and Morris Kellet sank a landing craft that Morris was attempting to bring aboard an LTC under John's directions.

John attended law school at the U. of Wisconsin. He worked with Milwaukee's White-Hershbeck firm until 1968, when he became treasurer of Great American Industries in NYC and then CEO until the company was sold in 1975. He returned to Milwaukee in a group practice; he was later in solo practice and director of the Cope Foundation, an educational philanthropy.

John is survived by his daughters, Abigail Moore (and her daughter, Sarah), Ann Scala, Jessica Wilson, and Alice '88, his mother, Lucille, brother, Arthur, and Flo Mack Thomas Kelly. We extend warm sympathy to them. Gifts in his remembrance may be sent to the Tiger Inn.

The Class of 1957

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