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Lewis Thistle, Jr., 85

ADAMS, Mass. — Lewis J. Thistle, Jr., 85, of Adams, died in his home Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021, after a long, brave struggle with Parkinson's disease. 

Born on Nov. 4, 1935, he was the son of the late Lewis J. Thistle, Sr. and Josephine Horgan Thistle.

Lew grew up in Lynn, graduating from Lynn English High School and Tufts University with a degree in Electrical Engineering. He was employed by General Electric for 35 years in Pittsfield. While at GE's Ordnance Division, he worked on early computer systems, testing them on Fleet Ballistic Missile submarines. In GE's Field Service Department, his work brought him to numerous locations throughout the USA and to Spain. After working in the field, he was an electronics hardware designer in the Engineering Department in Pittsfield. Lew remembered his career fondly and with great pride.

In addition to his parents, Lew was predeceased by his wife of thirty-two years, Patricia Matthews Thistle. He was also predeceased by his sister Louise and sister in law, MaryAnn Downing Matthews. He is survived by his wife, Martha Lee of Adams and her daughter, Sarah Schirmer of New Orleans, La.; his children, Robert Thistle and wife Ruth Cohen of Pittsfield, daughter Melanie Thistle-Diehl and husband Ted Diehl of Chatham, as well as three grandchildren, John Thistle, Patricia Thistle and Harte Diehl. Lew is also survived by brother in law, Robert Matthews, nephew Thomas Matthews, and nieces Kristin Matthews and Jennifer Cichetti.

Lew loved spending time on Cape Cod with his children and wife Pat (Doll). He enjoyed working on home improvement projects, car repair, and watching the Patriots and Red Sox. For the last 20 years of his life, Lew was a member of the Lenox Sportsmen's Club. He took great interest in target shooting and learning how guns worked, and how to repair them. In those years he reveled in taking long walks through Greylock Glen with his wife Martha. Lew delighted in his children and grandchildren, proudly attending their sporting events and dance performances.

Lew will be remembered for his gentle and quiet way, wry sense of humor, and intellectual curiosity. Lew was deliberate in all things. Approaching any project big or small with quiet patience and with full attention, he loved to take things apart, to truly study how the parts functioned together as a whole. With this mindset, he approached his diverse interests in cars, computers, and World War II history. He will be dearly missed, and his family will carry his memory with them always. 

In lieu of flowers: Donations are welcome for the Cape Cod National Seashore to help preserve the gorgeous beaches he loved. Checks can be made out to: Cape Cod National Seashore (In memory of Lewis J. Thistle Jr.) in care of Devanny-Condron Funeral Home, 40 Maplewood Ave, Pittsfield, MA. 01201. A gathering of remembrance will take place in the spring.

Recollections & Sympathy For the Family
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Lew will be sorely missed. He was a great friend, and a wonderful gentleman. We always loved conversing with him about a wide variety of subjects, all of which Lew knew well. Martha, condolences to you and your families for your loss. Godspeed Lew.
from: The Decker Familyon: 01-15-2021

Lew was a neighbor at our house in Adams. His companionship, gentle nature, intellect, and wit will be missed. I enjoyed sitting in my backyard during the summer talking with Lew and Martha as they strolled around the block. I will miss him.
from: A Kind and Gentle Manon: 01-14-2021

I spent the last 6 months with Lew as his personal caregiver and I feel honored to have help make his tough battle a little easier. Lew is one of the kindest, gentle, loving and appreciative gentleman that I have ever met. The love that I saw between him and his wife Martha was inspiring. Lew will be dearly missed. I know that he has a new and whole body now that he is in the arms of heaven.
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