Thomas John Daniel Wich

Tom-retouch-BW-sepia-2Thomas John Wich, 88, passed away peacefully at home January 11, 2015 after a long and fruitful life.


Tom was born in Rock Island Illinois July 16th 1926 just as the 7am factory whistle blew announcing his arrival. He was greeted by his Mother Lynette Marie (Thomas) Wich, Father John Henry Wich and older sister Jacqueline.


Tom grew up in Rock Island surrounded by the large Wich clan of many Aunts, Uncles and cousins. His family revolved around the grandparents homestead where many good memories were born.


Thomas excelled in both sports and academics. In his young years during the depression he would skate to school and play hockey with friends at the nearby tennis courts using branches as hockey sticks in wintertime and spend summer days playing tennis ALL day every day. He continued to play tennis into his 70’s taunting his opponents with his tricky “slice” shot.


Excelling in school paid off and during World War II instead of joining the front lines he graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) under the Navy’s V12 program in 1949.


He was very proud to be a Fighting Illinois and as a Navy man protector of the Great Lakes. Tom enjoyed these college years very much as a member of the Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity. After graduating he spent time as a traveling salesman throughout Illinois for Standard Oil calling on many farmers in the region. He then went to work for Garret/Allied Signal beginning his 38 year career with the company. He began with them in their AirSupply Sales division in Fort Worth, Texas where he met his wife and love of his life, Dorrels Sessions (Wich). It was there that they were married and had their first child, daughter Lynette Wich. Tom and Dorrels relocated to Seattle shortly thereafter where he began his illustrious career working through the birth of the Boeing 727. In 1962 the company took Tom and Family to Los Angeles where he became Division Manager of Quotation Administration for Garrett Corporation’s AiResearch Manufacturing.


After some great years in Los Angeles he attained his goal of moving back to the Pacific Northwest (a better place to raise a family) as Aerospace Sales-Regional Manager for the Garrett Corporation/AlliedSignal Aerospace. It was shortly after this move that he and Dorrels welcomed their second daughter, Annette to the family.


Professionally he began courting Boeing, Garrett Corporation’s largest commercial client. Beginning in 1966 he led successful efforts on the 737, 747, 757 and more; his leadership continuing to win major contracts on all new Boeing commercial aircraft. Government contracts were also captured including Nasa’s Apollo program and the AWACS E-3.


Tom took great pride in his work and forged life long friendships over the years. He retired in early 1995 having led an unprecedented career in sales and management doing so with integrity, professionalism, hard work, dedication and knowledge always with his ever present positive attitude and legendary sense of humor.


Together for 56 years Tom and Dorrels created a beautiful home life enjoying lakeside living, friends, raising their girls and enjoying their beautiful grandchildren. Receiving the blessing of their grand children, Garret and Kira brought both of them years of joy and pride.

Thomas is survived by his loving daughters Lynette Wich of Los Angeles and Annette (Wich) Griffith of Kirkland, grandson Garret Thomas Griffith, grand daughter Kira Dalen Griffith and their Father Troy Griffith plus many cousins. He was the last of his generation. He is predeceased by his wife Dorrels P. Wich, his parents Lynette and John Wich and his sister Jacqueline McClure.


His daughters and grandchildren will be forever grateful for his guidance, grace, humor and devotion. He will be missed beyond compare as a father and as a human being. He continued to be a service to everyone around him until his last breath. May he Rest in Peace.

His entire family would like to extend their deepest gratitude and thanks to his wonderful caretakers and care taking ‘family’ at Overlake Terrace where he lived happily the year following his wife’s death.


A funeral service will be held for him 10am, Saturday February 14th, 2015 at Sacred Heart Church followed by entombment at Kirkland Cemetery in Kirkland.


Sacred Heart Church 9460 Northeast 14th St., Clyde Hill, WA 98004
In lieu of flowers the family asks that you make a donation to your favorite charity.

Leave a Reply

Please be respectful. Disrespectful comments will not be published

When you have successfully submitted a comment, look in the space above to see your comment.

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

If you do not see your comment, click HERE