1928 ~ 2003
Through seven decades, Dick lived a full life while struggling with hereditary emphysema. He had the "Patience of Job" while being ill for 20 years and passed away peacefully on September 17, 2003 in La Jolla, CA.
Born on September 30. 1928 to Frank and Orlean Wright Thurston, he lived for many years in Manti, UT.
He became a Naval Aviator after graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy and was inspired by his brother, Wright, who was killed in a plane crash during World War II. He had an advanced Engineering degree from Cal Tech.
He married the love of his life, Mary Lou Jenkins, on September 1, 1951 in the Salt Lake Temple and together lived in FL, TX, CA, VA, ME, MD, London, and Provo. Dick flew planes out of Alaska, Japan, Spain, etc. Retiring from the Navy, he became the Assistant Dean of Engineering at BYU. He served in both Rotary and in many positions for the Mormon Church including Bishop of a BYU Married Ward and in the San Diego Temple. He served with Mary Lou on a LDS Mission to the Hmong/Laotian refugees.
Survived by his wife, Mary Lou; son, Wright Jenkins Thurston (Janett), of Sandy; daughter, Elizabeth Malia Merrell (Wayne), of Story City, IA; son, Rob J. Thurston (Loni), of Provo; 15 grandchildren, and six great- grandchildren. They request, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to TS Alliance, 801 Roeder, Ste 750, Silver Spring, MD, 20910 (www.TSAlliance.org) A viewing at 10 a.m. and funeral at 11 a.m. will be held in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, September 23, 2003 at the Larkin Sunset Lawn Cemetery (2350 E. 1300 S.) with internment immediately after.