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Long -time Los Alamos resident, Dr. David Browning Thomson Sr. passed from this life to the next on April 24. He was 84.
Dave Thomson is survived by his wife Patricia Ann Thomson (Grand Junction, Colo.); three children and their spouses: Debra and John Beeson (Grand Junction, Colo.); Barbara and Keith Emery (Spring City, Pa.); and David and Audrey Thomson (Loveland, Colo.); eight grandchildren; and three sisters: Marian Scheirman, Martha Nance and Shirley Ann Burbank.
Dave Thomson was a devoted husband and a loving father and grandfather who will be deeply missed by his family. As the son of a Kansas state senator and lay minister, service to his church, community and nation have been hallmarks of Dave’s life.
Dave Thomson was very active in local, state and national government. He had a significant role in the initial development of the county/city government of Los Alamos. He helped develop and promote the County Charter from initiation in 1963. He helped bring public transportation to Los Alamos, serving as vice president, co-organizer and chairman of the Financial Planning Committee of the Los Alamos Bus System.
At the state level, he served on the State Personnel Board, both as member and chair. He also served as chair of the Study Committee for a New Highway between Los Alamos and Santa Fe in 1971.
On a national level, Dave Thomson was dedicated to helping document and promote arms control treaties. He co-organized and was the first president of the Los Alamos Committee on Arms Control and International Security (LACACIS).
As a LANL retiree and guest scientist, Dave authored, “A Guide to Nuclear Arms Control Treaties.” First printed by LANL in 1999, this book gives a comprehensive description of the key nuclear arms control treaties up to that time and was subsequently published by the Los Alamos historical society.
Dave Thomson’s long and distinguished career as a nuclear physicist began in 1951 at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). In his early years at LANL he conducted and recorded nuclear weapons test shots at the Nevada Test Site (NTS) and became familiar with blast and radiation effects, an inspiration for his later work on treaties.
Throughout his life, Dave’s religious faith and convictions have led him to serve others in additional ways. He has been an active member of the United Church in Los Alamos since the early 1950s and served in leadership roles on many church committees. He also helped initiate the long running fellowship supper/seminar program and led seminars on Arms Control and Peacekeeping at the United Church. Following the Cerro Grande fire, Dave volunteered regularly with the Los Alamos Food Bank.
In recent years, Dave has been a devoted caretaker of Ann Thomson, his wife of 58 years. He could often be seen playing big band tunes for the residents of Sombrillo Nursing and Rehabilitation or walking quietly with Ann along the canyon rim trail.
David Thomson’s family invites you to attend a memorial service at 2 p.m. May 26 at The United Church of Los Alamos. In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to the Los Alamos United Church Mission Fund, 2525 Canyon Road, Los Alamos.