Thomas Jefferson Throgmorton, age 95, of Marion, passed away at his home at 9:07am on Wednesday, May 22, 2019, with his loving family at his side.
Just a simple country boy, Thomas Jefferson Throgmorton – the son of Thomas Jefferson and Edith (Chitty) Throgmorton was born in Goreville, Illinois on November 4, 1923. Tom was a proud Army Air Corp Veteran during World War II piloting P-47 Thunderbolts. Following his service, Tom attended Southern Illinois University at Carbondale where he received his Bachelor of Science in chemistry. It was at SIU where Tom met the love of his life, Julia Catherine Schmitt (or as he called her, “J.C.”). The two were married on July 9, 1949, in the small town of Wendelin, Illinois. Tom was able to provide for Julia her dream of sailing around the world. He was always proud and excited to join his wife on her worldly sailing adventures. Julia preceded him in death on September 5, 2016.
During his college years and into the early 1950s, Tom played the steel guitar and fiddle in a band called the Fredman Gang. Here he played alongside friends including the late Hank Wright of Herrin and the late Judge Snyder Howell. The 1950s is also when Tom began to work for Universal Match Corporation located in the Crab Orchard Ordill area.
Tom went on to become the co-founder of Central Technology Incorporated of Herrin as a chemical engineer. Here he worked on the SR-71 Blackbird Program, as well as the Gemini Program, which was instrumental in the space race. He also designed and developed the original net trap cannons, the purpose of which is to launch nets over wildlife for safe capture. In September of 1970, Tom founded Winn-Star, a defense contractor. Winn-Star continues to operate today under the guidance of Tom’s grandson, Tristan Throgmorton. After building Winn-Star, Tom co-founded South Pointe Bank in the early 1990s. Tom served as a director on the board of South Pointe during his tenure. In 2012, Tom founded South Porte where he served as Chairman of the Board.
Tom was a lifelong member of the Republican Party and the NRA. Tom was a Master of the Foxhound Association of North America since 1968. As a Master of foxhounds, he was instrumental in bringing mounted horseback fox hunting to Southern Illinois. Carrying out his love of boating, Tom was a founding member of the Crab Orchard Boating and Yacht Club at the original marina in Carterville. He was involved on the Williamson County Fair Board, a member of the Egyptian Colt Stakes Organization, and a proud Mason within the Wolf Creek Masonic Lodge. Tom was very proud to watch his son Winston pursue a career in law and build his practice in Marion. He enjoyed coffee with Tristan each morning before work, telling Rachel to stay away from boys, and eating crawfish at Randol’s with Roddy.
A simple country boy, he left one hell of a legacy.
Survivors include his son- Winston Cole Throgmorton of Marion Grandson- Tristan Thomas and wife Jessica Throgmorton of rural Carbondale Grandson- Roderick Vincent Paul Throgmorton of Marion Granddaughter- Rachel Rose Throgmorton of Marion Two Great Grandsons- Jackson and Lincoln Throgmorton of rural Carbondale Brothers-in-law and sister-in-law Several nieces and nephews Host of beloved friends and extended family members.
He was preceded in death by his parents- Thomas Jefferson Throgmorton, Sr. and Edith (Chitty) Throgmorton, his loving wife of 67years- Julia Catherine (Schmitt) Throgmorton, two brothers, and four sisters.
A time of visitation will be held on Friday, May 31, 2019 from 4-6:00 pm and a moment of reflection at 5:30 pm at Mitchell-Hughes Funeral Home in Marion.
For those who prefer, memorial donations may be made to the Shriner’s Hospitals for Children or St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. Envelopes will be available and accepted at Mitchell-Hughes Funeral Home; 800 N. Market Street; Marion, IL 62959.