• Please Remember in Your Prayers Former Trustee James Thwaits

    Please remember in your prayers former trustee James Thwaits

    Please remember in your prayers James Thwaits, who served on the St. Thomas Board of Trustees from 1980 to 1986. Thwaits, 85, died Jan. 13 in Naples, Fla.

    Born, raised and educated in England, Thwaits served in the Royal Air Force during World War II and immigrated to Canada with his first wife, Joyce, after the war. There he worked as a project engineer for Canadian Durex Abrasives until 1951, when he joined 3M Canada. He stayed with the company for the next 37 years, serving in chief engineering posts for 3M in Brazil and the United Kingdom before moving to St. Paul in 1959. He finished his career as 3M’s president of international operations, a post he held from 1975 to 1986.

    Upon his retirement, the 3M Foundation made possible the creation of the James A. Thwaits-3M Chair in Technology at St. Thomas. The Thwaits chair, which supports graduate programs in manufacturing at the university, has had a long-lasting impact on the breadth and depth of these programs, which are now housed in the university’s School of Engineering, according to Dr. Don Weinkauf, the school’s dean. "The engineering school would not be what it is without the Thwaits Chair endowment," Weinkauf added.

    Thwaits ‘ wife Joyce died in 2001. He is survived by his second wife, Patricia Taylor Thwaits, of Naples, Fla., and Wayzata, and four children, two stepchildren and 11 grandchildren.

    Thwaits’ funeral was held Saturday, Jan. 17, in Bonita Springs, Fla. A memorial service celebrating the lives of Jim and Joyce Thwaits will be held in July in Minnesota. Memorials made in Jim’s honor may be sent to the St. Mary’s Episcopal Church Endowment Fund, 9801 Bonita Beach Road Bonita Springs, FL 34135; the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Program, 22512 Gateway Center Drive, Clarksburg, MD 20871; or the American Association for Kidney Patients, 3505 E. Frontage Road, Suite 315, Tampa, FL 33607.

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