CHARLES M. THOMAS May 31, 1936 – September 30, 2022 Predeceased by his wife, Maxine Thomas and daughter, Megan. Vice Admiral Charles Winton Morris Thomas OMM CD is survived by his daughter, Jody, son-in-law, Curtis Coates; sisters, Lahni Thompson and Linda Larsen; and his greatest loves, grandchildren, Samantha (Bryant Shapiro ) and Andrew (Shannon Sterling). Born in Kelowna, Chuck joined the RCN in 1954, the first class of the Venture Plan, as an engineer in order to obtain an education and help support his younger sisters. He served as the engineering officer In HMCS Antigonish, Jonquiere and Saskatchewan. He crossed trained as a Maritime Surface Officer, and was Commissioning Executive Officer of HMCS Preserver, Commanding Officer of HMCS Fraser and Commanding Officer of the Fourth Canadian Training Squadron. In 1979, he was posted to NDHQ Ottawa and began the challenge of his career, the recapitalization of the Royal Canadian Navy and the project that became the Canadian Frigate Program. This would be his singular focus for 10 years. Promoted to Vice Admiral, he became Commander of the Navy in 1987 and Vice Chief of the defence staff in 1989 resigning in 1991 in protest over a proposed department policy paper that would have cut members of the Forces. While still a midshipman he met his true love, a fiery redhead from Victoria whom he convinced to marry him. Chuck and Maxine were partners in every sense of the word, intellectual equals whose love and respect for each other was a model for us all. If he succeeded she was absolutely his right hand, tempering his aggression, supporting his courage. He retired to Victoria where many, many rounds of golf at the Victoria Golf Club lay ahead. He and Maxine enjoyed every minute of being home with Megan and Nana. The loss of Maxine and Megan in quick succession had an enormous impact on him. Despite the sadness he had continual happiness in his relationship with Sam and Bear, delighted in their careers and lives they had built, the partners they loved. He was a towering figure in their lives, he loved being a Grampy. We have no words to express our gratitude for the friends who kept watch on him and supported him in this difficult period. Neighbors, navy friends and the Wednesday group at the golf club ensured someone spoke to him every day. A special thanks to Tony de Rosenroll who was like a son in his care and attention. Chuck believed in Canada and the Canadian Armed Forces. He fought for the RCN and staked his reputation on the need to equip the men and women who serve. We draw strength in knowing that as we look to the ocean and we see a gray hull in the distance, we see a part of him. A blessing indeed. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Broadmead Veterans Memorial Lodge or Do It For Daron youth mental health foundation. A visitation will be held in the Sequoia Centre at McCall Gardens, 4665 Falaise Dr., Victoria, BC on Tuesday, October 11, 2022 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. A Funeral Service will be held at St. Peter and St. Paul’s Anglican Church, 1379 Esquimalt Road, Esquimalt, BC on Wednesday, October 12 at 10:30 a.m. A reception will follow at the CFB Esquimalt Wardroom. Condolences may be offered to the family at www.mccallgardens.com.
Published by The Globe and Mail from Oct. 8 to Oct. 12, 2022.