Former SCGA executive Thomas dies at 72

Robert D. “Bob” Thomas, who was Senior Director of Communications for the Southern California Golf Association for 26 years, died at his home in Duarte on Thursday at the age of 72.

Thomas, who retired from the SCGA in 2009, had been battling cancer since last summer.

“In a sport that features a wealth of interesting personalities, Bob stands out as one of the great characters,” said SCGA Executive Director Kevin Heaney. “Everybody who knew Bob has a wonderful story about him although the best anecdotes came from Bob telling stories on himself.

“As was the case with everything in Bob’s life, he brought a tremendous passion to his role in communications for the SCGA,” Heaney said. “While FORE Magazine was his pride and joy, Bob was involved in all aspects of Association activities. I am not sure I ever saw Bob happier on the job as when he was covering the State Amateur at Pebble Beach.”

Thomas was a graduate of Redondo Union High School in Redondo Beach, and later studied journalism at USC and music at California State Los Angeles.

The SCGA had 90,000 members when Thomas came aboard in 1983 after working in corporate communications, but was up to 150,000 by the time he retired, in addition to growing from 425 member clubs to 1,100.

Thomas grew FORE magazine from a quarterly to six times a year, and he introduced the SCGA Directory in 1992.

As involved as he was with the SCGA, golf did not dominate his life.

Thomas was a classical music critic and writer for the Pasadena Star-News and its sister publications in the Southern California News Group for more than 30 years, continuing to write until a few weeks before his death.

In addition, he was active with the Pasadena Presbyterian Church, serving in various capacities including Elder, Director of Administration, and as a member of the music ministry.  He sung as a soloist or in choirs for more than 50 years.

Thomas is survived by his wife of 42 years, Nikki Thomas, daughter Kimberly Boneham, son William Stark, sister Rebecca Thomas, brothers Ken Thomas and Dan Thomas, and his mother, Evelyn Heyne.

The final article he wrote can be seen at

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