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Male, US, born 1915-03-23

Associated with the firms network

Heitschmidt and Matcham, Architects; Kistner, Curtis and Wright, Architects; NTD Architecture; Neptune and Thomas Associates, Architects; Neptune and Thomas, Architects, AIA; Neptune, Thomas and Davis (NTD), Architects; Thomas, Joseph F., Architect; Wurdeman and Becket, Architects

Professional History


Thomas was working as an architect in Oak Hill, WV, according to the 1940 US Census.

Draftsman, Wurdeman and Becket, Architects, Los Angeles, CA; Draftsman, Heitschmidt and Matcham, Architects, Los Angeles, CA; Architect, Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), 1941-1943. Lieutenant, Junior Grade, United States Naval Reserve, 1943-1946. Chief Project Architect, Kistner, Curtis and Wright, San Diego, CA, and Los Angeles, CA, 1947-1949;

Staff Architect, State of California, Division of Architecture, 1949-1952. Principal, Joseph F. Thomas, Architect, Pasadena, CA, c. 1952-1953.

Partner, Neptune and Thomas, Architects, Pasadena, CA, 1953- 1978.

Professional Activities

Member, American Instittute of Architects (AIA), Pasadena Chapter, 1945- .

Director, AIA, California Council, 1966-1968; Member, Executive Committee, AIA, California Council, 1974-1977. President, AIA, Pasadena Chapter, 1967. Chairman, AIA, California Schools Facilities Committee, 1970-1972. Member, AIA, National Judicial Board, 1973-1974. Director, AIA, National, 1974-1977. Treasurer, AIA, National, 1977-1979. Member, AIA, National Executive Committee; Member, AIA, National Planning Committee. Chairman, AIA, National Finance Committee. Member, AIA Breakfast Forum, and Chairman in 1983.

Member, City of Pasadena, Planning Commission, Pasadena, CA, 1956-1964. Thomas served as Chairman of the Pasadena Planning Commission in 1963-1964. President, Citizens Council for Planning, Pasadena, 1966-1967. Member, California Office Architecture and Construction Advisory Board, 1970-1972. Member, Pasadena Design Committee, Pasadena, CA, 1979-1986.

Member, California State University Systems, Architectural Advisory Committee, 1981-1984. Member, School of Environmental Design, California Polytechnic Institute, Advisory Council, 1983-2002.

Member, Carnegie Mellon University, Outreach for Architecture Committee, 1989-1995. Member, Carnegie Mellon University, President's Development Committee, 1991-1995.

Professional Awards

Neptune and Thomas won 4 AIA Honor Awards and 13 Merit Awards between 1957 and 1978.

Fellow, American Institute of Architects (FAIA), 1970. Thomas received an AIA LIfetime Achievement Award from AIA in 2007.

Recipient, City of Pasadena Service Award, 1964. Recipient, California Department General Services, Distinguished Service Award, 1972. Recipient, Pasadena Arts Council, Gold Crown Award, 1981.


High School/College

Graduate, Greenbrier Military School, Lewisburg, WV, 1929-1932. As a youth, Thomas played the clarinet.

Coursework, Duke University, Durham, NC, c. 1932; B.Arch., Carnegie Institute of Technology, Pittsburgh, PA, 1938.

Thomas belonged to the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity at the Carnegie Institute of Technology.



Born in Oak Hill, WV, in 1915, Thomas lived with his family on Main Street of that town in 1920. Ten years later, the Thomas Family still lived in Oak Hill, but had moved to a $25,000 dwelling on Lundale Drive, suggesting that they were financially comfortable at that time. The Depression probably ruined Robert Thomas's furniture business. In 1940, Robert had switched jobs to become an undertaker, and the family lived at 242 Pea Ridge Road, in a house valued at only $15,000. (See, Source Citation Year: 1940; Census Place: Oak Hill, Fayette, West Virginia; Roll: T627_4401; Page: 12A; Enumeration District: 10-9A, accessed 03/09/2017.)

In 1947, architect Joseph F. Thomas was listed in the Riverside, CA, City Directory, living at 3660 Riverside Avenue.

In 1991, he lived at 330 San Miguel Rd, Pasadena, CA, 91105-1446. Later, he may have resided at 115 East California Boulevard in Pasadena, CA. Thomas also had an address of 75357 Skylark Trl, Indian Wells, CA, 92210-8339, in 1995.


His father was Russell Russel Thomas (born c. 1876 in VA), a furniture merchant. His mother, Effie M. Thomas (born c. 1884 in WV), worked as a school teacher in 1920. They married c. 1910. His parents both came from VA. Her father was born in VA, her mother WV.

Joseph had a brother, Robert R. Thomas (born c. 1912 in WV) and a sister, Mary E. (born c. 1924 in WV). In 1930, a niece, Mary Fleshman, also lived with the family. (See, Source Citation Year: 1930; Census Place: Oak Hill, Fayette, West Virginia; Roll: 2532; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 0009; Image: 94.0; FHL microfilm: 2342266, accessed 03/09/2017.) In 1940, Robert worked as an electrical engineer in a coal mine.


He married Margaret Ruth Lively Thomas on 02/28/1939.

Thomas married Dorothy Francene Root, (born c. 1942) on 04/29/1967. She was 27 years younger than her husband. They divorced on 08/15/1980.

He wed Bonnie Abbott Buckley, 06/15/1991.


He had two children: Anita Carol Thomas and Joseph Stephen Thomas.

Biographical Notes

Founding Director, Bank of Pasadena, 1962-1965. Member, Annandale Golf Club, Pasadena, CA.

Member, Steering Committee, National Organization of Women, Pasadena Chapter, 1970-1974. Trustee, Almansor Education Center, South Pasadena, CA, 1986-1992. Co-Founder/Member of Board Directors, Syncor International, 1973-1983.

Associated Locations

  • Oak Hill, WV (Architect's Birth)
    Oak Hill, WV

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PCAD id: 1155