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In Remembrance of Thomas Michael McGaffey

1947 - 2017

Thom was a Mentor to countless Telemachuses in his lifetime.  Men and women were always looking to him for direction in their personal and career lives.  He defended his subordinates at work and gave reviews with the format, "Start with a compliment, mention an area that needs more focus, then end with a second, even greater compliment."  He was particularly proud of the fact that a superior at National Semiconductor once said to him, "I may disagree with you and your methods, but I must admit that I am amazed how your people will walk on fire for you."

His devotion to his Telemachuses was absolute and there were times that he would get out of bed in the middle of the night to meet one of his friends, coworkers or employees at a restaurant to help deal with a romantic relationship issue or calm nerves about a job interview.

He was badly injured in an auto accident caused by a drunk driver running a red light.  He never completely recovered physically though the short term memory problems that arose eventually disappeared.  They tested his IQ while he was having the memory problems and they declared that he had a genius IQ and that he would test even higher once the short term memory came back.  When he told me, I kidded him, saying, "I told you I knew you were smart!  That makes me smart to have recognized it in you"

Thom was an electronics whiz and inventor.  We had several businesses over the years.  In 1995, he rekindled his childhood interest in rocketry and joined the Reaction Research Society as a lifetime member.  When we retired to Arizona, we established Mentor Aerospace LLC, a venture devoted to the development of LDRS (Large and Dangerous Rocket Ships) along with the training of future generations of  STEM students interested in careers in the aerospace industry.

Thom was 28 when we met and I was just 20.  We married after a whirlwind romance of only 9 weeks and our love and marriage lasted 40-1/2 years.   Farewell my life.  I'll see you on the other side.

“Then out spake brave Horatius,
The Captain of the Gate:
To every man upon this earth
Death cometh soon or late.
And how can man die better
Than facing fearful odds,
For the ashes of his fathers,
And the temples of his gods

- Thomas Babington Macaulay