Thomas E. Douglass, age 84, passed away on December 6, 2020, at home.
Born on Feb. 15, 1936 in Grenada, Mississippi, he attended Grenada High School and Mississippi State University. He obtained a BS in Mechanical Engineering and BA in Business Administration simultaneously in 1958, whereupon he moved to Oak Ridge to work for Union Carbide Nuclear Division. He served as President of the Tennessee Society of Professional Engineers, and Chapter President of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He retired from Y-12 in 1996 as the Manager of Mechanical Engineering.
Tom was active in his community as a past member of the Rotary Club of Oak Ridge, past President of the Oak Ridge Country Club, and past Vice-President of Economic Development for the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce. He was a member of Kern Memorial United Methodist Church, where he taught Sunday School for many years. He was much loved and respected by his coworkers in the UCCND Engineering Division and later Martin Marietta where he served as Mechanical Engineering Department Head and later in the Separation Systems Division as Head of the US/AEC Producibility Effort for the Advanced Gas Centrifuge Project.
Tom instilled in his children the value of a strong family, commitment to the church, and the obligation to community service. But he also shared the value of fun and competitiveness, whether on the golf course, his daughters' gymnastics, or playing dominoes in his last days. A B+ in school wasn't good enough; one needed to work harder for that top grade. When his children were young, buying batteries from anywhere but the company store wasn't an option: one supported the company (Union Carbide) that signed his paycheck. He was MacGyver before the TV show, fixing his chainsaw with rubber bands from his daughter's braces, and teaching his children how to diagnose and repair almost anything.
Most of all, he loved his wife, setting a remarkable example of a life well-lived. All who knew him knew that his family was his highest priority, and spending time with his wife was the joy of his life.
He is survived by his beloved wife, Thelma, for whom he declared that 61 years was not enough; three daughters, Angi Agle (Chuck), Kathy Douglass, and Lisa Kent (Russell). Six grandchildren, Katie Shukla (Sachin), Lisa Beth Agle, Rebecca Lovely (Derek), Sara Agle, Douglass Kent and Travis Kent; one great-grandson, Mark Shukla.
Tom was predeceased by his parents, Nelson Lee Douglass Sr. and Pearl Parks Douglass, as well as his brothers Nelson Lee Douglass Jr., and Spivey Douglass.
The family would like to express thanks to the nurses of Professional Case Management, and to Dr. Jeffrey Grabenstein, for their support.
Burial will be private, with a memorial service planned for a later date when it is safe to gather.