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Published: 12/1/2006

Oil executive was active in community

FINDLAY - F. Brooks Thomas, 86, a retired Marathon Oil executive who was a community and civic activist here, died of apparent heart failure Tuesday in Naples Community Hospital, Naples, Fla.

Mr. Thomas retired in 1982 as a division manager from Marathon Oil in Findlay after 35 years with the company, where he rose from a cafeteria manager at the company's home office here.

In the 1970s, he was president of the Findlay Chamber of Commerce and president of Findlay Rotary Club.

In 1978, he was elected the illustrious potentate of Northwest Ohio's Zenobia Shrine Temple in Toledo. Mr. Thomas also served on the board of governors of the Shriners Hospital for Children in Chicago for 13 years, beginning in 1981.

"Doing the right thing was always important to him," his son Brad Thomas said.

He noted that his father's involvement in community affairs grew out of his membership with the Shrine.

He also said his father was a family man who "tended to push myself and my brother and my sister to be the best we could."

A native of Dowagiac, Mich., the elder Mr. Thomas graduated from high school there about 1938 and later received a bachelor's degree in management from Michigan State University.

In retirement, Mr. Thomas returned to Dowagiac, and spent winters in Marco Island, Fla.

He enjoyed golfing and following Michigan State sports.

He belonged to an Episcopal church in St. Joseph, Mich., and MSU's alumni association.

Surviving are his wife of 60 years, Janice; sons, Brad and Bruce; daughter, Sydney Stevens; six grandchildren, and a great-grandson.

A memorial service will be at 10:30 a.m. today in St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Marco Island. Arrangements are by the Fuller Funeral Home, Naples.

The family suggests tributes to the F. Brooks and Jan Thomas Endowed Hospitality Business Student Scholarship Fund at the School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University.



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