Tom Finley Thornhill II, 88, beloved husband of Grace Norton Rosebrock Thornhill, of Summerville, SC, and Albuquerque, NM, died on Saturday, September 12, 2020.
Tom was born in Oklahoma City, Ok, on October 30, 1931 to the late Tom Finley and Edna Ballard Thornhill.
Tom was graduated from Summerville High School in 1949 and from the University of Oklahoma in 1953 with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering.
After his honorable discharge from the U.S. Army as Second Lieutenant, Tom began his distinguished career as an industrial engineer with Honeywell International, holding a number of significant engineering and production assignments in Minneapolis, MN, West Covina and San Diego, CA, Phoenix AZ and Albuquerque, NM, where he served as Plant Manager of Honeywell’s Control Systems Plant.
After leaving Honeywell, Tom was appointed by Governor Garrey Carruthers to serve as Cabinet Secretary for General Services for the State of New Mexico.
He then served as president of New Mexico TechNet, a nonprofit company that established the first computer link between New Mexico’s national laboratories, universities and state government.
While at TechNet, Tom worked with the former director of the Los Alamos Laboratory to establish the New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge, a nationally recognized program that promotes critical thinking and project-based learning in science and engineering so that the next generation of high school graduates is better prepared to compete in an information based economy.
Tom loved the beauty and adventure of the outdoors. As a youngster in Summerville, you would find Tom swinging on the rope at Bacon’s Bridge, swimming in the brick yard pond, or gigging for frogs and fishing on the banks of the Edisto.
Tom loved to spend time with his family and friends scuba diving off the coasts of California and Mexico, hiking and backpacking in the mountains of Arizona and New Mexico, and fishing for king salmon and halibut in Clover Bay, Alaska. He was an excellent bridge player and enjoyed his monthly poker game for the past 32 years. Tom was 68 when he learned to fly.
Tom was preceded in death by his wife, Beverly Anderson Thornhill, his son, Tom Finley Thornhill III, and his sisters Martha Westbury and Virginia Underhill. He is survived by his children, Dana Scott (Rick), Wade Thornhill (Lisa); Susan Starnes (Ron), daughter-in-law, Charlotte, 7 beloved grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his loving wife Grace and her children Candace Schell (Joel), Norton (Jackie), Peter, Steve, Terry (Stacy) Rosebrock and 6 beloved grandchildren.
Tom was a member of St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, Summerville, and St. Luke Lutheran Church, Albuquerque. There will be a family service on Thursday, September 24, 2020, at the St. Luke’s Lutheran Church.
A memorial service will be planned for a later date. Memorials may be made to St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, 206 Central Ave, Summerville, SC, 29483.
Arrangements by Parks Funeral Home, 130 West 1st North Street, Summerville, SC 29483. www.parksfuneralhome.com