Ritchie Dawson THOMAS, son of Lloyd Carroll KNIBBS and Helen Gertrude CAMPBELL , was born 26 January 1931 in Olympia, Thurston County, Washington, USA. He married Grace Sylvia MURABITO 03 February 1971 in Nicosia, Cyprus. He died 24 May 2016 in Olympia, Thurston County, Washington, USA. Grace Sylvia MURABITO was born 04 December 1934 in Lawrence, Essex County, Massachusetts, USA. She died 05 August 2005 in Olympia, Thurston County, Washington, USA.


Children of Ritchie Dawson THOMAS and Grace Sylvia MURABITO are:
1. Laura Nina THOMAS, b. Private

Other Marriages/Unions for Ritchie Dawson THOMAS:
See Ritchie Dawson THOMAS & Peggy Ann HEDRICK


Notes for Ritchie Dawson THOMAS:

Also known as: Richard Thomas Knibbs

Ritchie was born to Helen Gertrude Campbell and her first husband, Lloyd Carroll Knibbs. He was registered at birth as Richard Dawson Knibbs on 26 Jan 1931 at 12:10 p.m. at 1241 4th Avenue East, Olympia, Washington.


See Ritchie's Birth Certificate as Ritchie KNIBBS



See Ritchie's Birth Certificate, post adoption as Ritchie THOMAS


He was given up for adoption by his father Lloyd C Knibbs to William Jess Thomas, Ritchie's mother's second husband. He was adopted by William Thomas on 29 October, 1942, when he was 11 years old.

The adoption was filed at the Superior Cort of Thurston County, Washington on October 29, 1942 at 3:05 p.m.
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He served in the US Navy during the Korean War but tells me most of his service was in the USA with the Sixth Fleet.

He began in the Navy as an aviation cadet but didn't do well and was dropped from the program. Everyone signed an agreement that if dropped for any reason, they would transfer to the fleet as enlisted personel, in line with the draft laws at that time. Ritchie and two other former cadets were sent to the U.S.S. Tarawa that was then in the Boston Navy Yard. He served on the USS Tarawa (an Essex class aircraft carrier) for 8 months, 6 months of which was spent in the Mediteranean with the 6th Fleet.

See image of the ship on which he served.


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Published in The Olympian on May 29, 2016:
Ritchie D. Thomas Ritchie D. Thomas, age 85, born in Olympia, Washington, January 26, 1931. Died May 24, 2016. His parents were William J. Thomas and Helen G. Thomas, both preceding him in death. He attended schools in Olympia and graduated from Olympia High School, class of 1949. He attended Linfield College, McMinnville, Oregon and Whitman College, Walla Walla, Washington, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree. He received a Master's degree in Library Science from the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., in 1959. He served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War. He was employed as a Librarian with the New York Times, Washington, D.C. Bureau; City Librarian, Woodland Public Library, Woodland, California; College Librarian, Sacramento City College, Sacramento, California; University Librarian, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon; and University Librarian, Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio. He retired to Thurston County, Washington in 1992. He was a member of the Washington State Historical Society and the author and editor of several scholarly books and articles. He was an amateur deltiologist and collector of unusual and old objects. Over the years he painted many pictures. Being distrustful of organizations, he belonged to nothing. He was preceded in death by his wife, Grace M. Thomas of Thurston County. He is survived by his daughters, Kathryn A. Sanford, MD, Martha Thomas, Laura Thomas, all of Dayton, Ohio, one son, Andrew H. Thomas, Malaga, Spain and eight grandchildren, Jesse O., Zachary (Colby), Jeremy and Molly Sanford; Justin, Emily and Sarah Margaret Penix; and Elizabeth Kasser-Thomas, by all of whom he was much loved and appreciated. He passed down his belief in the value of Family to those who will love and remember him always. A Memorial Service will be held at Mills & Mills Funeral Home, 5725 Littlerock Road SW, Tumwater, WA 98512 (Thurston County), June 18, 2016 at 11:00 am. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Olympia Historical Society,

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Our gratitude goes to the members and volunteers at Find A Grave web site for recording the details, in memory of Ritchie.

Sources for Ritchie Dawson THOMAS:

  1. Personal Contact with Ritchie Thomas,
  2. Adoption Papers,
  3. Birth Certificate,
  4. Obituary,

Notes for Grace Sylvia MURABITO:

From the Dayton Daily News, Aug. 9, 2005:
THOMAS, Grace Sylvia Murabito Born December 4, 1934 in Lawrence, Massachusetts and lived in Dayton, Ohio for more than twenty years. She is survived by Ritchie D. Thomas, husband; John Murabito, brother; and mother, Ann Faro; daughter, Laura Nina Thomas; granddaughter, Elizabeth Kasser- Thomas; step children, Kathryn A. Sanford, MD; Martha Penix; Andrew H. Thomas and seven step grandchildren, all the above dearly beloved by the deceased. Grace graduated as a Registered Nurse from the Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA; received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Teacher's College, Columbia University, New York, and her Masters in Nursing from the University of California, San Francisco. She practiced and taught nursing at the American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon, in Massachusetts, New York, and California. She was faculty at Wright State University School of Nursing Dayton, Ohio. She enjoyed travel throughout her life. A memorial mass will be held at noon on Monday, August 15th, 2005, at St. Michael Catholic Church in Olympia, Washington. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to either Hospice or the local chapter of the American Cancer Society.

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Our gratitude goes to the members and volunteers at Billion Graves web site for recording the details, in memory of Grace.
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Our gratitude goes to the members and volunteers at Find A Grave web site for recording the details, in memory of Grace.

Sources for Grace Sylvia MURABITO:

  1. Personal Contact with Ritchie Thomas,
  2. billiongraves.com,

Notes for Laura Nina THOMAS: