Carl Brent Thomas


Brent Thomas





Carl Brent Thomas passed away the evening of July 25, 2012 in Kirkland, Washington after a long battle with cancer.  He was preceded in death by his father, Herman Thomas, sister, Karen, and nephew, Brian.  He is survived by his loving and devoted wife of 27 years, Sharyn Robbins; son, David Thomas (Julie); mother, Ada Whitted; sister, Lynn Thomas; brothers, Dennis and Winston Thomas; and half sister, Misty Cassidy (Kevin).


Brent and David





Born on July 20, 1952 in Ft. Worth, Texas, Brent was the oldest of five children born to Herman and Ada Thomas.  While he was growing up, the family lived many places across the country, including Texas, Utah, New York, California, and Washington.  His love of the outdoors was awakened then as the family camped, hunted, and fished frequently.  During his teenage years, he attained the level of Eagle Scout.  Perhaps his passion for travel and adventure started during that time of his life.


In 1970, he graduated from Tahoma High School in Maple Valley, Washington.  Immediately following, he enrolled at Green River Community College.  From there, he went to San Diego State University and then Western Washington University.  His college years were interrupted by the draft.  After serving in the Army from 1972 to 1974, with awards given for sharpshooting, he was honorably discharged and went on to enroll at the University of Washington to complete his education.  Although he was fascinated all of his life with archaeology and would have preferred a degree in that discipline, his practical side intervened and he instead earned a degree in Electrical Engineering in 1981.  He got his archaeological “fix” by traveling to Mexico, Greece, Turkey, and Egypt to explore the ruins in those countries.  In between trips, he had a long career in the technology industry and worked for many companies as a software engineer.  He was very intelligent and curious and never lost his zeal for learning and creating.  He had high standards and thoroughly believed if you were going to do something, you should try your best to do it right.


Brent and Sharyn





Brent was friendly, kind, thoughtful, and deeply spiritual, which attracted many people to him.  He had many friends and remained loyal to them throughout his life.  He was a man of tradition and generosity and gave freely of his time and possessions.  He valued his church, religious holidays, wedding anniversary, David’s birthday, “Give a Turkey a Break Day” (his own made-up Thanksgiving Day alternative), the annual childbirth class reunions when he always made homemade ice cream, and other special days throughout the year.  Although mostly quiet and introspective, he had a great sense of humor and a hardy laugh.


Brent loved life and enjoyed many activities including gardening, cooking, reading, playing ping pong, attending concerts, and playing guitar with his buddies in jam sessions.  He coached basketball, baseball and soccer teams, and always loved watching David play his many sports.  Brent’s adventurous side came out in backpacking, camping, hiking, skiing, traveling, and playing in the tropical ocean that he enjoyed frequently.  Always the optimist, he remained positive and hopeful and wanted others to feel that way as well.  He always finished conversations and emails with the phrase “Have Fun”.


Brent was a devoted husband and father and will be sorely missed, but he leaves behind a legacy that will not be forgotten.



10 Responses to “Carl Brent Thomas”

  • susan o'donnell says:

    This says it all! What a wonderful tribute to a wonderful man! I will miss our conversations on Saturdays when Sharyn was off playing tennis! Always a joy to talk to such a pleasant person..Will miss you Brent–Love ya!

  • Pam Erickson says:

    Brent was a wonderful friend and husband to my pal Sharyn. Theirs truly was a “love match”. It was a joy to be with them both.

  • Marilyn Ginnever says:

    What a beautiful and loving story of Brents life! He was an amazing man and I feel lucky to have known him.

  • Rosanne Nicholson says:

    Thank you for a loving tribute to our dear friend. Brent was always the kind of guy that I looked forward to being around, could be comfortable and have fun with everyone, and made the best husband ever for our dear Sharyn. We feel lucky to have known him and will miss him so very much.

  • Ross Hale says:

    Brent was a good friend with a knack for keeping in touch with folks. For many of us, short term acquaintances were normal as we changed tech jobs. I remember starting a contract job at a really big software outfit and being at loose ends when it came to lunchtime. “Hello, Mr. Ross” says Brent at my door. Somehow Brent had figured out my new assignment. Over time I noted that Brent would set up lunches with folks from previous work or other relationships.
    Lunch was really a friendship quilting bee.

  • Scott Swift says:

    Having worked with Brent in the past at a high-tech company, I sincerely appreciated his excellent attitude, his strong work ethic, his sense of thoroughness and commitment, and his desire to get the job done right the first time. I especially appreciated his great smile. He always brought light to most any difficult problem or situation and I will always remember the “Have Fun” closings of every email correspondence I received from him. Brent always kept in touch with me, long after we parted ways in our careers – not many people in this world take the time to do this, but he did. It was always good to catch up with him whenever we could get together. Brent will certainly be missed by many people and I am a very fortunate person to have been blessed by his acquaintance.

  • James Jackson says:

    I will miss what Brent showed me that he loved – what it looked like to me on the outside of how deeply committed he was to his wife, home, and family.

    In addition, we shared an interest in playing music together, however not just any music – we both insisted on making it up on the spot, improvising rhythm and tone without preconceived notions – a wonderful relationship with the present moment. It was great fun to be invited into this and something that I will never forget.

  • Dena & Jeff Reindel says:

    We were blessed to have boys on the same baseball and some soccor teams for many years while they lived in Tukwila, it was a joy to share the sidelines with him and cheer our boys teams on! Brent was always very kind and had a warm and friendly heart and we knew David was the apple of his eye! Glad to have know Brent and I am here for Sharyn and hope to always be in touch. Rest in peace now Brent, you will be missed by all.

  • Greg and Kim Martin says:

    The best part of our trips back to Seattle was reconnecting with Sharyn and Brent. We were always greeted with a smile and hug. We will cherish fond memories and the good times we shared with Brent. Peace.

  • Rick Forthun says:

    Many years ago I had the privilege of working with Brent, during this same time I had the great fortune of having Sharyn as a good friend. After getting to know Brent and his warm, kind voice, his quick, raucous laugh, his superior intellect, his love of music and his charitable heart, it didn’t take me long to realize he should meet my other good friend who possessed so many of the same admirable qualities, Sharyn. It is truly one of my most auspicious moments; to tempt fate with two friends who I adored and have them impact each other’s life in such a positive way. Over the years it has given me tremendous joy knowing of their devotion and affection for one another. Unfortunately, I have not spent much time with Brent and Sharyn in recent years, however, we have always kept in touch and I have always felt close to them. Hearing of Brent’s illness and passing has left me with a profound sadness, not just for myself, but for Sharyn and David and all the other people whose lives Brent touched. Although I have not seen Brent in years and it pains me deeply I will never have the pleasure of his company again, I consider myself fortunate for all the time I was able to spend with him years ago and that he brought so much love and happiness to my good friend and so many others.

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