Thomas Agin, aged 91, died peacefully in his sleep on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 in the excellent care of Wesley Health Care Center and Community Hospice of Saratoga. Chronic lung disease, which he had fought with dignity and courage for more than half a decade, would finally claim him.
Thomas Agin was born on October 12, 1926 in Camden, New Jersey. His parents were the late Thomas Floyd Wakefield Agin and Dorothy Roth. He was the oldest of four children. With the death of his mother in 1941, he was out on his own at age 14, working to support his siblings. He would invent a new birthplace and birthdate, not easily verified, to enable him to join the Civilian Conservation Corps. He would work in Delaware helping build roads, most of his earnings going back to relatives caring for his brothers and sister. He again used his altered birthplace and birthdate to join the service in 1943, having just turned 16, choosing the Army Air Force. Because of his small size, he was perfect to climb into the back of B-25s as a tail gunner. He was sent to the Pacific Theater, where he flew on 46 bombing missions, fighting until the war ended in 1945.
Peacetime brought a reenlistment in the Air Force, followed by a return to Camden, New Jersey where he stayed with his Aunt Catherine Crane in Fairview. Next door lived the McGaha family, and a daughter named Dorothy. They became engaged, and on June 17, 1950 they were married.
Thomas had become interested in the idea of working in chemistry during the war years and would make this his life’s work. Despite a lack of formal education, he would attend Temple University and become a research chemist. He was able to give his family the life he had not had growing up.
The family eventually settled in Cinnaminson, New Jersey and raised their family of three children. When not working, Thomas was a man who liked to read, play Scrabble, do crossword puzzles and travel. Travel would include the children when they were young and later, after retirement, Thomas and Dorothy would travel the world. London became a favorite destination, with the West End musicals a must. Thomas would study Russian before going to Russia and was able to converse in that language during the trip. He also somehow knew how to write some Chinese…. And he loved to tell jokes, usually laughing before he could finish the punchline. His most consuming passion, though, was genealogy. He was very involved long before it became popular or DNA turned up to help. He was a long-time member of the Clan Egan, and one of the first to be involved in their DNA research.
He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Dorothy E. (McGaha). Also, his son Thomas L. (Louise) Agin of Port Orange, Florida, and daughters, Brenda J. (Bob) Lanoue of Greenwich, New York and Marsha A. (Stanley) Jablonski of Sicklerville, New Jersey. He had one grandson, Justin Agin, four granddaughters, Tracy Agin, Katie Agin, Kimberly Monaghan, Jamie Jablonski, and one great-granddaughter, Lily-Kate Agin. His brothers, Floyd W. (Theresa) Agin and Arthur P. (Kim) Agin, and sister Harriet B. (Valentine) Stuhltrager all predeceased him. For the past 14 years Dorothy and he shared a home with Brenda and Bob Lanoue in Greenwich, New York, before moving to The Woodlawn Community in Saratoga Springs, New York.
His family would like to take this opportunity to thank Saratoga Hospital, Schuylerville Family Health, Pulmonary Physicians of Saratoga Springs, The Woodlawn Community, Wesley Health Care Center (2 Springs, in particular) and Community Hospice of Saratoga for the excellent care they have given Thomas through these difficult years and last months.
Donations in his memory can be given to Community Hospice of Saratoga at: 179 Lawrence Street, Saratoga Springs, New York 12866
No viewing is scheduled and there will be a private funeral service at The Gerald B. H. Solomon National Cemetery, later in the year.
Online condolences and messages to the family may be made at www.flynnbrosinc.com