Former professor and acting Dean of Engineering Col. Everett Lane Thomas Jr. (Ret.), 91, died Friday, Aug. 5, 2022.
Thomas joined the faculty of Clemson University in 1974 as director of Systems Engineering, a new graduate program. He also served as acting dean of Engineering from 1982 to 1983 and taught undergraduate industrial engineering prior to his retirement as full professor in 1985.
He attended Oklahoma Baptist University for two years on a track scholarship. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Oklahoma State University and joined the Air Force to become a fighter pilot. Later he would receive his Master of Science in Electrical Engineering and finally a Ph.D. in Systems Engineering from OSU.
Thomas served as a fighter pilot in Vietnam, where he flew combat missions to locate and rescue downed pilots. He was awarded two Silver Stars for valor in combat, a Bronze Star for heroism, a Distinguished Flying Cross for extraordinary achievement in flight and many other honors.
After returning from Vietnam, he went on to become the director of engineering for the B-1 bomber program at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, before retiring after 23 year of service as a full colonel in 1974.
After retiring from Clemson In 1984, he embarked into business, founding Integrated Support Systems Inc. in Clemson, which designs database software to manage critical information related to the design and maintenance of complex equipment. ISS continues to thrive today in Seneca.
He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Jean; daughters, Susan (Jose) Sol, Sarah (Phil) Maiberger, and his son, Reid Thomas.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 13, at First Baptist Clemson with visitation following. The service will be live-streamed at https://fbcclemson.com/.
Thomas’ full obituary is posted online.