Ronald F. Thomas

February 13, 1933 - February 11, 2017

Ronald Fay Thomas, 83, a Middleton, WI resident passed away peacefully Saturday, February 11, 2017 surrounded by his loving family at his favorite winter home in Cape Coral, FL. Ron was born on February 13, 1933 to Theodore and Grace (Backer) Thomas in Dayton Township, Butler County, Greene, Iowa.

After high school he joined the U.S. Navy in 1950 and was a Veteran of the Korean War serving on the U.S.S. Sutherland DDR743; a Destroyer, advancing in rank to Petty Officer First Class in under three and a half years. While still in the service he married Marvilyn Joan Tolliver on October 8, 1952 at Zion Lutheran Church, Waterloo, Iowa. After military service, Ron and Marvilyn moved to Milwaukee, WI where he studied engineering at Milwaukee School of Engineering on the GI Bill. After graduation, he entered the HVAC field, working in Milwaukee and then moving to Middleton in 1966 and then spending the rest of his life in the Middleton/Madison area.

Ron was a longtime manager of the Machinery & Systems Division of the Carrier Corporation, division of United Technologies Corporation, receiving many marketing and engineering awards from his company up until his retirement on January 1, 1998. Following his retirement he was president of the Zenas Corporation, a consulting engineering firm.

He was a registered Professional Engineer and Past President of the Madison Chapter of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and also served many terms on the board of governors. He was active in the design and construction of many large building HVAC and plant projects in the state of Wisconsin. He was a life member of the National Society of Professional Engineers, The Wisconsin Society of Professional Engineers in Construction, a Life Member of ASHRAE, life member of the VFW Post 8216 in Middleton, a member of the American Legion Post 0275 and the National Tin Can Sailors Association.

Ron loved to fish and camp with his many friends and family on the lower Wisconsin River.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 65 years, Marvilyn Thomas of Middleton, WI; two sons, Kurt Thomas (Teresa) of Roscoe, IL and Charles Thomas of Middleton, WI; two daughters, Debra Alt (Chuck) of Mazomanie, WI, Theresa Thomas of Hartland, WI; seven grandchildren, Jessica, Jeffrey, Garrett, Dana, Logan, Taylor and Cooper; one great granddaughter, Madison Thomas of San Diego, CA; Brother, Darrell Thomas of Sioux City, IA; two sisters, Joyce Elliott (Kenneth) and Kathy Billings Timmer (James) of Cedar Falls, IA; as well as numerous Nephew, Nieces and extended family members.

Ron was preceded in death by his parents and an infant son, Eric James.

Funeral Services will be held 1:00pm, Saturday, February 18, 2017 at St. Peters Lutheran Church, 324 E. Traer St., Greene, IA 50636. The Family will receive friends for a time of visitation at 12:00 noon up to the hour of service. Burial will immediately follow at Rose Hill Cemetery, S. Main St, Greene, IA 50636 with Military Honors being presented.

The Family invites all to join them for a light lunch back at St. Peters Lutheran Church following the graveside service.

A Memorial Service will also be held 1:00 – 3:00pm, Saturday, February 25, 2017 at Gunderson Funeral Home, 7433 University Ave, Middleton, WI. Any donations on behalf of the family can be sent to the Salvation Army.

Memorial contributions in memory of Ronald Thomas are suggested to the Salvation Army.

Friends are invited to send condolences via the on-line guest book which can be found at

Mullins Memorial Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Cape Coral, is entrusted with final care.


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