Thomas Drahman, 81 of Spokane, WA passed away peacefully at his home. Born in Cincinnati Ohio, his family moved to Pasadena California shortly after he graduated from high school. He married his high school sweetheart Mary Ann McKenzie on December 26, 1959. They were married for sixty years and raised four children.
He graduated with an AA degree in Instrumentation Technology from Pasadena City College, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Management with over 70 credits in engineering from California State University/Fullerton.
After serving in the Army, he became involved in rocket technology while working for Cal Tech, Jet Propulsion Laboratory and TRW Systems. He was responsible for analyzing, interpreting and verifying rocket test data, and determining next testing requirements. He also designed and supervised the installation of a rocket test facility utilizing multiple test sites simultaneously. He was part of a group (comprised mostly of PhDs) who developed rocket technology which was vital to the Apollo Space Program’s lunar landing.
In 1971 he and his wife moved their family to the Spokane – Coeur d’Alene area.
During the 1970’s he worked as Sales and Customer Service Manager for Clare Pendar-General Instruments (of Post Falls); and Product and Estimating Manager at American Sign & Indicator (of Spokane), which was at that time the largest automated sign manufacturer in the world. He designed, proposed and procured lease or purchase contracts for large electronic signs and scoreboards for major airports and sports arenas internationally. Each system exceeded $1 million.
In 1977 he played a pivotal role in his church’s purchase of Mount Saint Michael (MSM). The next year he followed his heart and became Facility Manager at MSM, a decision which required a significant pay cut. This was much more of a vocation than a job. He worked six days a week for more than ten years without a vacation. In the first few years he facilitated the segregation and sale of several hundred acres of bare land into parcels of ten acres or less. He worked for MSM until his retirement in 2000, when he commenced volunteering numerous hours of labor on grounds maintenance. The traditional Catholic faith was a major part of his life. He was always a great friend to all, well known for his gregarious personality, and will be missed by all who knew him.
Tom is survived by his wife Mary Ann and children Timothy (Theresa) Drahman, Rev. Father Gregory Drahman, Kathleen (Joseph) Stratte and David (Teresa) Drahman and twelve grandchildren.
On Tuesday, March 24th there will be a viewing on the first floor at Mount Saint Michael from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM. A private funeral and burial will be held on Wednesday, March 25th. At noon, friends may view the funeral procession by lining one side of the driveway between the main building and cemetery on condition that they remain in their cars. Following the Coronavirus quarantine situation, a public Rosary and Requiem Solemn High Mass will take place at Mount Saint Michael. Interment will be at Holy Rosary Cemetery at Mount Saint Michael, a cemetery which he developed.
Memorial contributions may be made to Mount Saint Michael, 8500 N. St. Michael’s Road, Spokane WA 99217.
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