Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Dick Thomas, R.I.P.

From my friend Ken Hackathorn this morning:
Just a note to inform you our good friend Dick Thomas passed away on Sunday, April 17. 
As you know Dick was a founding member of IPSC and IDPA. It was Dick who convinced Jeff Cooper to come to Columbia, MO. to teach a pistol shooting class...which Jeff turned in to an advanced combat pistol class and conference to form such, many of us often called Dick Thomas "IPSC Father." 
While I came up with the idea of a 3-gun match, it was Dick who pitched the idea of hosting the first SOF convention in Columbia, MO so that the Ray Chapman range could be the site of the first SOF 3-Gun match. Also, Dick was the guy that pitched the idea of a grand pistol shooting even to John Bianchi. 
We all have great memories of Dick's adventures and while he enjoyed hunting in Alaska and Africa, I remember one of his favorite South Africa hunting memories was shooting "blue-balled monkeys" from the trees with his favorite P35 Browning. 
You may wish to mention his passing on your blog.
Dick was a friend and a font of knowledge about practical shooting. I think that most of the people shooting the practical disciplines today have no idea where the sports came from, the people who spent hours and hours and not unsubstantial risks to create something new under the sun. They were heady time, exciting times and we felt that we were changing the world. I suppose we did.

And so the time of the giants passes.

Go with God, brother.


Jerry The Geek said...

Back in 'the day', I had a passing acquaintance with Dick Thomas. In the literal sense.

SWMBO and I were on our way to (I think it was Waco for the Shirley Skinner Charity Match) and we ran into Dick and his wife in some nameless airport halfway between here and there. It was like SMALL WORLD so we said hello.

It took Dick a few minutes to figure out just who the heck we were, and then he said: "Oh yeah ... Geek! SWMBO! Imagine this!"

We weren't social buddies, though we had met at a few matches. But he put it all together in his head in seconds and had the names at the tip of his tongue.

That was the thing; he was ALL about the people in 'his' organization.

Nobody ever doubted that he owned USPSA at the time, because he knew EVERYBODY ... even the "nobody" people, of whom we were two.

He introduced his wife, we nodded, and went our separate ways.

I cannot recall when we saw each other again ... probably in Reno or Vegas or some other stupid match. (Yes, it was in Reno in the summer, when SWMBO bought you the silly hat fan) But he always knew the names of people whom he had met.

Damned if I don't miss the man. I haven't competed for a couple of years, but he has always exemplified, in my mind, the USPSA community of shooters.

Where we meet 'best friends' a couple of times, and never forget them.

Anonymous said...

It's often amazing how a "big idea" to someone else seems small and impossible to actually accomplish to everybody else. Then, as it grows, it becomes a "big idea" to everybody. His vision for the shooting sports has benefitted all of us. I never actually contemplated where all of this good stuff came from. Now, I know and say thanks to him.

Life member

Docgmt said...

So much of our history is built on the foundation put down by people we never get to meet nor even become aware of their great sacrifice and deeds. We live on with the benefit of their actions a life far better than it might have been if not for the likes of such men and women. RIP Mr Thomas and though we never met I thank you and Mr Hackathorn for all you have done.