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Edward E. Thomas; ‘Imagineer’ for Disney

Edward E. Thomas, a longtime Ventura resident and active Confederate Air Force member, died Friday. He was 71.

Thomas was born May 17, 1926, in Roseburg, Ore. He moved to California when he was 3 and became a Ventura resident in 1967.

In addition to founding his own company, Thomas Architectural Models, Thomas worked as an “Imagineer” for Walt Disney Co., helping to build Disneyland and Disney World.

After retiring from architecture, Thomas began a successful career as a financial planner. He served Equitable Life for 20 years.

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Thomas was a happy man and well-liked, his family said.

“He was a loving father and a great grandfather to my kids,” said Thomas’ daughter, Jodi Bradley, who lives in Oak View. “Everybody that knew him liked him.

“He was always around when I needed someone to talk to,” she said.

Besides his family and four grandchildren, Thomas was most passionate about his work with vintage aircraft. Thomas was a nose gunner on a B-24 bomber in World War II, and he later became an active member of the Confederate Air Force-Southern California wing, where he made many friends and worked with restored World War II aircraft.

Thomas was preceded in death by his wife, Lorna.

In addition to Bradley, Thomas is survived by daughter Terri Thomas Goble of Pleasant Hills and four grandchildren.

Memorial services are scheduled for 2 p.m. May 9 at Camarillo Airport. At his request, Thomas will be cremated and his ashes will be scattered over the ocean by his friends with the Confederate Air Force, which plans to perform a “missing man formation” at the memorial in honor of Thomas’ friendship and fighting spirit.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Confederate Air Force. Call 482-0064 for information.

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Arrangements are being handled by Joseph Reardon Funeral Home, Ventura.


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