Ronald Fay Thomas

Ronald Fay Thomas

MIDDLETON-Ronald Fay Thomas, 83, a Middleton resident, passed away peacefully Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017, surrounded by his loving family at his favorite winter home in Cape Coral, Fla.

Ron was born on Feb. 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 Jan. 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 No. 8216 in Middleton, a member of the American Legion Post No. 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 Rae 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.

A memorial gathering will be held at GUNDERSON WEST FUNERAL AND CREMATION CARE, 7435 University Ave., Middleton, from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017.

Any donations on behalf of the family can be sent to the Salvation Army.

Online condolences may be made at

Gunderson West
Funeral & Cremation Care
7435 University Avenue